Orlando man gets Shands' 500th lung transplant

Orlando resident Bhowani Sharma, 68, received a new lung. He was Shands' 500th lung transplant. Sharma talks with Wendy Swafford, supervisor of the lung transplant program, about his scheduled release from the hospital.

submitted photo by Jesse Jones
Published: Monday, January 3, 2011 at 9:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 3, 2011 at 9:00 p.m.

Bhowani Sharma, 68, took the old saying "out with the old, in with the new" to heart as he brought in the new year.

The Orlando resident received a new lung at Shands at the University of Florida.

His surgery marked the hospital's 500th lung transplant since 1994.

Sharma's lung transplant was the 29th and last of 2010 for the Shands UF transplant team.

Now, just days into 2011, he's preparing to go home.

"Everything just fell into place," said his wife, Rajcoomarie Sharma. "It's a real blessing and he is doing well."

Sharma is expected to leave the hospital today.

He received his first lung transplant in 2008 after suffering from pulmonary fibrosis.

Complications after the transplant, including chronic organ rejection, left him in need of another organ.

Fifty percent of transplant recipients experience organ rejection within five years of transplantation.

UF surgeons performed Shands' first adult lung transplant (and the first in the state) in 1994; the center is one of 53 lung transplant centers in the United States.

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