The longest living lung transplant patient is a woman identified as Stanford Health Care heart-lung transplant patient No. 39. As of April 2014, she has survived 27 years six months since her transplant, reports Stanford Health Care. Heart-lung transplant recipient Steve Rasmussen has survived 26 years as of April 2014.
Colleen Kohse is Canada’s longest surviving double-lung and heart transplant recipient, having lived 25 years as of October 2013, reports The Globe and Mail. Both Kohse and Rasmussen suffered from cystic fibrosis before their transplants.
Lungs are composed of fragile tissue that tends to deteriorate quickly outside of the body, which creates one of the challenges in transplanting the organs, notes Stanford Health Care.