Michael Munday is recovering well after an innovative transplant surgery this past March, becoming the first recipient of a combined heart and liver transplant in Kentucky at UofL Health – Jewish Hospital. The United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) confirms this is the state’s first double transplant of its kind.
“Our team at Jewish Hospital is dedicated to creating an environment of healing for our patients and their families. We are proud to celebrate such a big win,” said John Walsh, chief executive officer of Jewish Hospital. “These incredible liver and heart transplant teams pushed boundaries to perform Kentucky’s first ever double heart and liver transplant surgery. We are pleased to give Mr. Munday a second chance at life.”
A team of five transplant surgeons and dozens of medical staff worked together for about 12 hours to perform the procedure.
“A surgery of this magnitude is choreographed from the moment the donor teams leave until the patient is taken to the ICU post-operatively. It would not have been possible without exhaustive collaboration between our heart and liver transplant surgeons, as well as the diligent anesthesia team and dedicated operating room nurses,” said Dylan Adamson, M.D., a transplant surgeon at UofL Health – Jewish Hospital – Trager Transplant Center.
Nearly ten years ago, Munday, 55, started having heart trouble and says doctors told him it was operating at about 25%. Those heart issues got worse in July 2021, when he says he got caught in a ventricular storm. He suffered from multiple ventricular arrhythmias over a short period of time. His heart’s function fell to about 10% and he spent nearly two and a half months at Jewish Hospital between July and September.
He returned to Jewish Hospital on Jan. 6, 2022. The double transplant was performed on March 22, and Munday returned home to Graham, Ky., on April 13 with a healthy heart and liver.
“They released me from the hospital in 22 days,” Munday said, thankful for the “top-notch staff.” “Everybody, the doctors, the nurses, the nursing aids treated me like a celebrity. I’m not 100% yet, but I’ve been feeling excellent.”
The heart and liver double transplant surgery becomes the latest in a long line of transplant firsts at Jewish Hospital:
- Kentucky’s first adult heart transplant
- Kentucky’s first pancreas transplant
- Kentucky’s first adult liver transplant
- Kentucky’s first double-lung transplant
- Kentucky’s first dual heart/lung transplant
Today, Jewish Hospital is among a very small percentage of hospitals across the country approved to perform all five solid organ transplants: heart, lung, liver, kidney and pancreas. The hospital is also home to the world’s most successful hand transplant.
“World’s first or Kentucky’s first, these procedures demonstrate Jewish Hospital’s significance to this community and why it’s such an important part of UofL Health,” said Lori Gonzalez, University of Louisville president. The university led the effort to bring Jewish Hospital into the UofL Health system three years ago.