First COVID-19 Survivor to Receive Double Lung Transplant

Mayra Ramirez was careful to follow health precautions before the day she was admitted to a Chicago hospital with COVID-19 symptoms.

The 28-year-old arrived at the hospital emergency room on April 26, and within minutes — giving her barely enough time to call her family — her harrowing experience began.

She shared, “All I remember was being put to sleep as I was being intubated and then six weeks of complete nightmares…[consisting] a lot of drowning and I attribute that to not being able to breathe.”

Due to the coronavirus, her lungs had been irreversibly damaged and other organs were beginning to fail. After more than a month on a ventilator, there was only one option to save her life: a double-lung transplant. 

Ramirez is the first American to have undergone the procedure after a battle with COVID-19. It’s been nearly two months since the surgery, and she’s recovering at home – still weak and struggling to breathe.


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