Man recovers after surviving COVID-19 and receiving double lung transplant

A New Mexico man who survived COVID-19 recovers after receiving a double lung transplant at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix.

On Nov. 12, Arthur Sanchez spoke about his experience, along with the medical team who helped save his life. Sanchez spent 147 days in the hospital battling COVID-19. Doctors said he had many near-death experiences, and the only way he'd likely recover was by getting a double lung transplant.

"I want to give thanks to my wife and my girls at home," said Sanchez. "I love them. They truly my inspiration."

Sanchez, 52, tested positive for COVID-19 on April 12, after his sister and brother-in-law were hospitalized for the virus. At the time, he was caring for his mother. She had also tested positive for COVID-19, but was asymptomatic. Sanchez’s condition got worse, and he was fighting for his life at the University of New Mexico hospital in Albuquerque, where he was on a ventilator for 116 days.

Doctors said the only way he would recover is by getting a lung transplant. 

"Arthur’s lungs were so damaged and scarred, that lung transplant was the only option left to save his life," said one doctor.

Sanchez was transferred to St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, where he received a double-lung transplant on Aug. 16. He has been recovering since. 

"I’m a fighter and a strong believer of faith. I think I’m a walking miracle," said Sanchez. "Without any of the medical professionals that took care of me, I wouldn’t be here today."

Sanchez says he's looking forward to spending time with his family.