Lung Transplantation Patient Stories

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Zach's Story

Zachary Nickerson was born with severe combined immunodeficiency disease (SCID), a life threatening disease, often referred to as "boy in the bubble syndrome," that causes you to have little or no immune system. There aren't many effective treatments for it, but the best one is a bone marrow transplant, and Zach had two of them by age 5.

But the chemotherapy that was part of the treatment Zach needed after the bone marrow transplants caused him to develop pulmonary fibrosis, a progressive lung disease that could only be cured with a double lung transplant.

Zack Nickerson

Zach got his strength up and after two weeks on the transplant list, he received a life-saving double lung transplant at Children's on March 23, 2008, but his road to recovery has been long. He developed pneumonia after the transplant and was sedated for three weeks for pain management. But Zach fought back and did it with a smile on his face. "He has had health issues his whole life but he has the cutest smirk and still enjoys life," says his nurse, Cindy Campbell, RN.

Both of his parents admire Zach's strength. "Never once has he asked me why he has to go through all of this." says Lloyd. "He's entitled to his crumby days, but it doesn't take much to distract him and he stays positive."

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