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Rowan Jimenez

Rock Climber Exceeds Expectations After Double-Lung Transplant

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UCSF News reports on the story of Rowan Jimenez, a rock climber who underwent a double lung transplant at UCSF for treatment of scleroderma, an autoimmune disease, crediting UCSF with getting his life back and resuming his passion for climbing mountains.

Rowan -300l -11022012The 10,911-foot view from the top of Cathedral Peak in Yosemite National Park is a familiar sight for Rowan Jimenez. The 44-year-old rock climber and musician has traversed this mountain many times before, but this particular attempt on a September day in 2010 was different: It marked a triumphant return on the two-year anniversary of his double lung transplant surgery.

“My friends thought I was crazy,” Jimenez said. “But I needed to do it. I needed to know that I still had my old life. I didn’t want to be content to just be sitting on a couch. That wouldn’t have worked for me.”

Jimenez was diagnosed with scleroderma, an autoimmune disease, in early 2008 after he constantly experienced shortness of breath.

“I just thought I was getting old,” he said. “I didn’t realize it was something more serious.”

The once energetic rock performer was tired and had difficulty catching his breath. He was in the early stage of lung failure.

Jimenez went to UCSF’s Lung Transplant Program, one of the top programs in the country, according to the latest Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. UCSF is among three out of 70 programs for “higher than expected” outcomes based on complex risk factors.

“The success of the program is multifactorial and a multidisciplinary effort that starts with excellent anesthetic management, meticulous surgical technique and perioperative surgical care, and long-term close surveillance,” said Jasleen Kukreja, MD, MPH, surgical director of the UCSF Lung Transplant Program.

Jimenez credits UCSF for giving his life back. He was only on the lung transplantation list for seven weeks when he received a call to come in for surgery.

Read full story at UCSF News

Tags: Lung Transplant
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