For the first time, when I walk, my legs are more tired than my lungs...

World’s first triple organ transplant

Teen does well after rare surgery

A unique triple transplant has transformed the life of a 19-year-old Cystic Fibrosis patient who can now walk without an oxygen tank, exercise, eat full meals, and plan for the future.

Just two weeks after his life-saving three-organ transplant, Reid Wylie was walking around the transplant unit at Toronto General, inhaling and exhaling without coughing, and diligently keeping up his breathing exercises to expand his lungs.
“For the first time, when I walk, my legs are more tired than my lungs,” says a smiling and shy Reid, who was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at age two.

Reid received a world-first transplant combining double lungs, liver, and a pancreas in the summer of 2015. The procedure took 17 hours, with 15 staff which included: surgeons, surgical fellows, anesthesiologists, operating room nurses and healthcare specialists in the use of the heart-lung machine during surgery.

A novel combination

Since 1990, the Multi–Organ Transplant Program at TGH has performed nine lung-liver transplants, but has never combined those with another organ – until Reid’s triple transplant.

Cystic Fibrosis (CF), a chronic, genetic disease, affects many organs, including the lungs, the digestive system, liver and the pancreas. This results in improper digestion of food, as well as a breakdown of pancreatic tissue, leading to diabetes.

Since his diagnosis, Reid has had to take three to five enzyme pills with meals and snacks to digest his food, and insulin to control his diabetes. Draining about three cups of sticky mucus from his lungs, by clapping his chest and coughing, had to be done daily. His condition worsened this summer, and Reid was hospitalized with severe lung infection.

Respirologist Dr. Cecilia Chaparro, who treats CF patients at TGH and St. Michael’s Hospital after they become transplant patients, has been treating Reid for about two-and- a-half years, with TGH transplant liver specialist Dr. Nazia Selzner.