UPMC Hamot orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Carl Seon is in a fight for his life since COVID-19 severely damaged his lungs.
On Thursday morning, he received the gift of life, a new set of lungs all thanks to an organ donor.
An amazing story of courage and survival, a UPMC Hamot doctor receiving the gift of life after battling COVID-19 for months.
“I just think that this is an incredibly story of healing and giving back. We have a health care provider who, during a global pandemic, caught this virus and, himself, needed somebody to give to him.” said Katelynn Metz, CORE Donor Family Services.
Dr. Seon contracted COVID-19 in December and the complications damaged his lungs. On Tuesday, he was approved for a transplant and a donor was found on Wednesday. On Thursday morning, he received the life saving treatment. Officials with CORE say this whole story emphasizes the giving spirit that is the heart of organ donation.
“I think that is a nice parallel when you think of organ donation as a whole. People depend on the generosity of somebody else, and for somebody else as their last gift here on earth to think of somebody other than themselves.” Metz said.
David Gibbons with UPMC Hamot says they have seen the devastation of COVID-19 as well as the miracles. He says the lights outside the hospital are blue and green to symbolize life, hope, and courage.
“We illuminated those lights in honor of Dr. Seon and his donor, so just a reminder to us and to the community of the power of a transplant.
Along with those lights, a banner on the hospital reads “Seon Strong”
According to Gibbons, the surgery was successful with no complications.
According to CORE, every ten minutes, someone is added to the national transplant waiting list. However, only half of people in Pennsylvania are registered organ donors.
One person can save the lives of eight by donating their organs.