Blitstein Lung Transplant Fund Created Thanks To Family's Generous Gift
Neil Blitstein and his wife Chris Cordin Blitstein are celebrating Neil’s third year with a transplanted lung.
In recognition for the exceptional care Mr. Blitstein received from Loyola Medicine's transplant team, the Blitsteins have made a generous gift to advance lung transplant care and support other patients and their families.
Mr. Blitstein had been suffering for years with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease before being diagnosed with acute coccidioidomycosis, which caused an infection to spread throughout his body.
He went from being an active businessperson and car enthusiast to having no stamina or capacity to walk, requiring oxygen daily to breathe.
Mrs. Blitstein believes her husband is alive today thanks to Loyola.
“Loyola is a gift” said Mr. Blitstein. “We love everyone on the transplant team – the doctors, nurses, coordinators, social workers, technicians, even the valets who park our car – they are all incredible."
Mr. and Mrs. Blitstein's gift established the Chris Cordin Blitstein and Neil Blitstein Lung Transplant Fund, which supports lung transplant patients facing financial strain, a new Caring for the Caregiver program and the renovation of a space for caregiver respite during a loved one’s stay in the hospital.
The Blitsteins recognized the demands of lung transplantation have on patients, as well as their loved ones once the patient is discharged after a hospital stay and requires care 24 hours a day.
“Chris and Neil inspire all of us on the lung transplant team,” says Mr. Blitstein's pulmonologist Sana Quddus, MD. “They are extremely generous and are helping fellow patients and caregivers in a tremendously meaningful way. It is my privilege to be able to work with patients from all walks of life and Chris and Neil are improving our ability to do so.”
U.S. News & World Report ranks Loyola’s pulmonology & lung surgery among the top 50 in the country. Since Loyola’s lung transplant program started in 1988, the team has performed more than 1,000 lung and heart-lung transplants.
The transplant pulmonologists and surgeons are widely regarded and highly experienced in treating the most challenging cases. In fact, Loyola is the only transplant center in the United States to perform five lung transplants in the span of a day, showing the dedication, drive and talent of the team.