Dignity Health St. Joe’s Marks 500th Lung Transplant

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Early on the morning of Oct. 25, 2016, Robin Ritchie, 67, made her way into St Joseph’s Hospital. She was a very sick woman. Eighteen months earlier, her doctor told her in no uncertain terms, “I think you’re one hospital stay with pneumonia, or something like that, away from dying,” Ritchie recalled while fighting back tears.

The retired, middle school teacher had been battling emphysema and pulmonary hypertension for years. And now she was told her options were limited, except for one. “‘I think you should have a lung transplant.’ Ritchie’s doctor advised. And she said, ‘OK!'”

She and her husband, Steve, moved to Arizona from Texas, and were put on the wait list at the St. Joseph’s-Norton Thoracic Institute. A “wait” that Steve says went by pretty fast. “We went from a birthday dinner on (October) 24th, to surgery on the 25th at 4 o’clock,” he said.

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