Lung Transplant Patient Story
When no one would consider John Bowen for lung transplant, the Henry Ford Transplant Institute offered hope.
John Bowen’s journey to lung transplant began when he learned he had idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
“The first doctor told me there was nothing he could do for me, that I had three to five years to live, and sent me home,” recalls Bowen. “What he didn’t understand was my desire to live.”
As Bowen’s lung function deteriorated and he required supplemental oxygen, Bowen and his significant other, Phyllis Miller, researched treatments, including lung transplant.
Bowen was accepted for screening at one transplant program; however, testing revealed several blocked coronary arteries. Bowen underwent a triple cardiac bypass. Following that surgery, he says every transplant program he contacted considered him “too high risk.”
That’s when he found the Henry Ford Transplant Institute. Bowen and Miller met with members of Henry Ford’s multidisciplinary lung transplant team who spent hours with Bowen and Miller, developed a plan to manage his pulmonary fibrosis and started the transplant screening process. During a visit with Hassan Nemeh, M.D., surgical director of Heart and Lung Transplant, Bowen says he and Miller became overwhelmed with the enormity of the situation.
“Phyllis started to cry, and Dr. Nemeh took her hands, looked her in the eye and told her that everything was going to be OK,” recalls Bowen. “I’ll never forget that moment.”