Spectrum Health introduced the hospital's first combined heart and lung transplant recipient today. 56 year old Jeffery Sargent of Rockford told a crowd of doctors and well-wishers that is in good condition following the August 23rd surgery at the Spectrum Health Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center in Grand Rapids.

Dr. Michael Dickinson, Medical Director of the Richard DeVos Heart and Lung Transplant Program told WOOD Radio Sargent suffered from idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension.

"There is no question in my mind that he had only weeks to months to live at most. It was inevitable that he was going to have another episode of heart failure and die in the near future."

A team headed by cardiothoracic surgeon Asghar Khaghani, MD, surgical director of Spectrum Health’s Richard DeVos Lung Transplant Program, performed the transplant. He was assisted by cardiothoracic surgeon Theodore Boeve, MD.

"Everyone involved with Mr. Sargent’s care, from the team managing his lung disease, to the teams performing his surgery and postoperative care, has done a tremendous job," said Khaghani. "His recovery so far has been remarkable."

The transplant was the first such combined procedure done in Michigan since 1999 and the 15th in the state.