Health · June 24, 2022

Iron Chef champion, hero of Ground Zero, is the first double lung transplant recipient at Mount Sinai Health

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The first double length A transplant at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City was recently performed on Iron Chef America winner James Kelly. Kelly appeared during the fourth season of the popular food show where he helped his brother, chef Peter Kelly, achieve victory over culinary king Bobby Flay. Kelly is grateful to be part of another winning team — Mount Sinai’s new lung transplant team, which helped New York’s healthcare system meet a major milestone.

The surgery took place last March, and Kelly, a 58-year-old professional chef from Whitestone, New York, told Fox News, “I received my double lung transplant on March 3 of this year. See or speak to me. I don’t even feel like I’ve had major surgery. I owe that to Dr. Seethamraju.”

Kelly was diagnosed with emphysema and lung disease due to a condition called silicosis. According to Kelly and his doctor, Kelly’s lung disease was linked to exposure at the World Trade Center when he volunteered to distribute meals to first responders at Ground Zero in the days after the September 11 attacks.

A view of the hospital at Mount Sinai when Greek Patriarch Bartholomew von Fener was hospitalized in New York on November 3, 2021.  Kelly is grateful to be part of another winning team — Mount Sinai's new lung transplant team, which helped New York's health system reach a major milestone.

A view of the hospital at Mount Sinai when Greek Patriarch Bartholomew von Fener was hospitalized in New York on November 3, 2021. Kelly is grateful to be part of another winning team — Mount Sinai’s new lung transplant team, which helped New York’s health system reach a major milestone.
(Betul Yuruk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Kelly told Fox News: “I did what I could for the first few days after the towers came down.

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In 2004, Kelly told Fox News he had chest lymph node biopsies that revealed exposure to metals, which he attributed to the dust surrounding him at Ground Zero. Kelly was hospitalized multiple times with lung infections and on May 4, 2019, he was told he needed a double lung transplant. At this point, Kelly sought and found Dr. Scott Scheinin, MD, FACS, and Dr. Harish Seethamraju, MD.

In an interview taped to Fox News shortly before his Mount Sinai surgery, Kelly described waiting for the phone to ring, hoping for a lung donor. That call came last winter.

“We went to bed and at 1 a.m. the phone rang,” Kelly recalled during the interview, adding, “My wife said that’s the call. I said I’m ready, let’s go.”

Scheinin, the director of lung transplants at Mount Sinai Health System, told Fox News in an interview that Kelly has emphysema with “an element of silicosis, which is an inflammatory response in the lungs, usually to dust particles and things like that, so it fits.” the exposure he had to 9/11.”

Scheinin, the director of lung transplants at Mount Sinai Health System, said in an interview with Fox News that Kelly had emphysema "an element of silicosis, which is an inflammatory reaction in the lungs, usually to dust particles and the like, so it fits with the exposure he had to 9/11."

Scheinin, the director of lung transplants at Mount Sinai Health System, told Fox News in an interview that Kelly has emphysema with “an element of silicosis, which is an inflammatory response in the lungs, usually to dust particles and things like that, so it fits.” the exposure he had to 9/11.”
(iStock)

Scheinin helped launch Mount Sinai’s new lung failure and transplant program and led the surgical team involved in Kelly’s surgery, which included transplant pulmonologist Dr. Harish Seethamraju belonged. Since the milestone surgery in March, the team has performed over half a dozen double lung transplants, a hospital spokesman told Fox News.

Not only has Scheinin performed over a thousand lung transplants, but he is one of only a few surgeons worldwide dedicated to performing blood-free lung transplants, which health experts say promote faster recovery and reduce the risk of lung injury, infection and heart disease can reduce attack and stroke after surgery. He said in the interview that performing the first double lung transplant at Mount Sinai and supporting the spearhead of the hospital’s new lung transplant program is a new era for the healthcare system.

“Our whole team is ready and we were excited and just happy to get started,” he said in the interview.

Not only has Scheinin performed over a thousand lung transplants, but he is also one of only a few surgeons worldwide dedicated to performing blood-free lung transplants, which health experts say promote faster recovery and reduce the risk of lung injury, infection and heart disease can reduce attack and stroke after surgery.  He said in the interview that performing the first double lung transplant at Mount Sinai and supporting the spearhead of the hospital's new lung transplant program is a new era for the healthcare system.

Not only has Scheinin performed over a thousand lung transplants, but he is one of only a few surgeons worldwide dedicated to performing blood-free lung transplants, which health experts say promote faster recovery and reduce the risk of lung injury, infection and heart disease can reduce attack and stroke after surgery. He said in the interview that performing the first double lung transplant at Mount Sinai and supporting the spearhead of the hospital’s new lung transplant program is a new era for the healthcare system.
(iStock)

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Kelly is excited about his new life and said in an interview with Fox News that he had “a long wait”. Kelly was filled with gratitude for the support he received from his family, doctors and staff.

“It’s humiliating, humiliating, humiliating,” Kelly said in the pre-surgery interview obtained by Fox News. “To think that the last thing someone wants to do before they leave is give their life to someone else – to think of someone else is…I couldn’t find the words for it. It’s massive, it’s powerful me speechless.” , Kelly said in this interview.

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As the Iron Chef winner continues to recover, he told Fox News that over the past three months he’s been grateful for his son getting his second black belt, teaching his son how to drive, sending him to his senior prom and next week will watch his son graduate from high school.

The chef, who kindly thanked his Mount Sinai team, said he also plans to start taking advantage again, saying in the pre-operative interview: “It makes you feel good. I think, like an organ donation, it gives you one last good feeling, even if you don’t know who will receive it, so I can assure you, it’s a beautiful thing.”