After six months in Pittsburgh, Madeline got the call. The team at UPMC successfully completed her double-lung transplant at 3am this morning!
Jim remained at the hospital for most of the night, and Colleen and Mike flew in and arrived at the hospital by 11am. While heavily medicated, Madeline opened her eyes and gave a smile to acknowledge that they were all there.
The surgery was long and complicated, but Madeline did well. Because of her scleroderma, Madeline’s “old” lungs had extensive scarring which added some complexity to the procedure. Typically during a double lung transplant, one lung will be removed and replaced while the other provides needed oxygen to the patient. In Madeline’s case, her lungs had deteriorated so badly that a single lung would not be able to sustain her. As a result, she was put on artificial lungs for a portion of the procedure to provide oxygen to her body until the new lungs were in place. And because of the scarring and bleeding, the doctors decided to not fully close the chest incision at the end of the procedure. Madeline will be going back to the OR – probably Tuesday – so they can make sure everything looks OK before fully closing her chest.
Despite these issues, Madeline’s new lungs are functioning well. She is still breathing with the assistance of machines for the time being and will remain in the Cardio Thoracic Intensive Care Unit (CTICU) for the next two weeks. In total, she will be in the hospital for another three to four weeks before being discharged. But hopefully, she’ll be back in Rhode Island by April or May and is looking forward to seeing her wonderful friends and family that have been such a tremendous support though this challenging time. Madeline still has a long recovery period ahead of her, but she’s looking forward to getting home!
And for the record…spending six months in Pittsburgh hasn’t turned her into a Steelers fan. GO Pats!
1/22/2017 03:21:59 pm
There is not a more deserving person of these new lungs!! Praying so hard that you'll be back to Rhody in time for June 17th!!!!! Sending love and prayers!!!
1/22/2017 03:25:31 pm
God bless you all. Prayers for all of you.
Amie and Jorge Carreira
1/22/2017 04:01:50 pm
We could not be more thrilled about this news. Many prayers will continue for you and your family! You nailed this girl! 🙏🏻❤️🙏🏻
Tom Reilly Jr
1/22/2017 04:17:57 pm
Great news! We love you Aunt Mad!
1/22/2017 04:20:29 pm
So thrilled to hear your news! We will continue our prayers for your recovery, but will certainly add prayers of thanks for how well you have done.
1/22/2017 04:52:24 pm
Thank you so much for the detailed update. Mark and I are so happy to hear that this has finally happened. Madeline's spirit is tremendous and we know she will flourish and serve as an example to others needing this very scary procedure. Much love and many blessings to the entire Riley clan....xoxo
1/22/2017 04:56:30 pm
So happy to hear this great news. The Sahagian family are sending our prayers
1/22/2017 04:57:57 pm
So happy to hear the great news!!! I'm praying for a smooth and speedy recovery!!! Thinking of you all xoxo
1/22/2017 05:14:18 pm
Asking St Theresa who never fails me to bless though with strength for your recovery!
Diana & Pat Murphy
1/22/2017 05:47:35 pm
Wishing Mad and all the Reilly's continued love and support! The road ahead will be lightened by all the prayers coming her way. She is a special person,and she'll be back home breathing all that fresh spring air Rhode Island has to offer!!😍
susan (guertin) degrave
1/22/2017 06:20:45 pm
I went to high school with you at st. x praying for your speedy recovery
Jane & Vinny Iannetta
1/22/2017 06:52:15 pm
Prayers continue for Madeline and her recovery and for Jim and the family for continued strength through the next few weeks and through her recovery.
1/22/2017 06:57:14 pm
Keep up the good work Mad. Praying you have a long life ahead of you now with easy breathing!
1/22/2017 07:27:38 pm
Madeline we are sooo happy for you and your beautiful family! I can't think of anyone more deserving of this miracle! Love you and you continue to be in our prayers! Speedy recovery 😘
LInda Rose Frank
1/22/2017 07:48:01 pm
Sending good wishes for a speedy recovery.
Kathi and Rod Ryan
1/22/2017 07:55:42 pm
So wonderful to hear that Madeline's surgery went well. Our prayers are with Madeline and family!
1/22/2017 08:46:22 pm
Madeline, great news! Helen, Charlie and the Reilly family send you their best. Bonnet Shores awaits you and Jim. Our prayers are with you in your recovery.
1/23/2017 04:34:56 am
Such fantastic news Madeline, sending all our love and prayers from Ireland. Mary, Michael and Heather
Linda and Tony Silva
1/23/2017 07:03:42 am
Madelaine you are an inspiration as you always have a positive outlook which will help you recover quickly. We will pray hard for you as well as for Jim who has been by your side forever and for your children. Love you.
1/23/2017 07:29:42 am
So happy for you and your family....❤❤❤Tom and Nancy
The (Matt) Colliers
1/23/2017 05:26:40 pm
We love you and are praying for you, Aunt Mad!!
1/24/2017 01:37:52 pm
Praying for a complete and speedy recovery in NWPA for you, Mad!
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As often as possible, we'll try to update this page to let you know how Madeline is doing and where she is in her fight for new lungs. Visit often!