December 1997: First lung transplant takes place in Czechia

Josef Moravec (left) was the first lung transplant patient in the Cz.rep. In the photo with doctors Pavle Pafek (right), Robert Lischek (second from left) and Jaromír Kabát (December 22, 1997)

The first lung transplantation was performed by the team of Professor Pavel Pafko from the Prague Motol University Hospital on December 22, 1997.

Pavel Pafko | Photo: Rostislav Šebesta,  Czech Radio

The first patient with a lung transplant in Czechia is Josef Moravec, from Nymburk. The man, who was 41 years old at the time, was in the final stage of an inflammatory disease of the lung chambers that could lead to respiratory failure. A lung replacement was his only hope. The donor was a 26-year-old man who suffered a deadly gunshot injury.  Moravec lived with his new lung for six years.

Robert Lischke | Photo: Tomáš Vodňanský,  Czech Radio

The lung transplant programme in Motol is currently headed by Robert Lischke. In 2014, he headed a team that performed the second ever combined lung and heart transplant in Czechia.

In the early years, there were only up to ten lung transplant performed in Czechia annually. Nowadays, there are over 50, putting the Motol Hospital among the leading institutions of its kind in Europe.