AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — The only person in Colorado to receive a lung transplant due to COVID is now recovering at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus.
Bryan Raymond underwent the eight-hour surgery on March 6 and is now on the rehabilitation floor.
“I feel great now,” he said.
The 37-year-old father of four was diagnosed with COVID and pneumonia in December in his home state of Montana, and was transported to University of Colorado Hospital with life-threatening lung failure. He had no pre-existing lung conditions, although he does live with MS.
“His lungs became incredibly scarred, and he was transferred to us very sick,” said Dr. Robert Meguid, a UCHealth lung transplant surgeon and associate professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
“It’s a good win so far, but he has a long way to go,” Meguid said.
The focus now for Bryan and his wife, Trinity, is getting through rehab and eventually going home. Bryan hasn’t seen his four children in person since December.
“It’s a long time. It’s taken a burden on our family. Trinity has been by herself for months. (I’m) just ready to be able to spend time with her and get the family down here so I can see them again,” Bryan said.
He and his surgeon say this story is a good reminder of just how serious COVID can be, even for young people.
“Although the vaccines are very promising, and there’s hopefully a light at the end of the tunnel, there’s still a long way to go, and we still need to take it very seriously,” Meguid said.
The family is hoping that Bryan can go home to Montana in the summer.
There is GoFundMe account set up if you’d like to help with their expenses.