CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A Robstown native is recovering after receiving a COVID-19 related double-lung transplant earlier this morning in Chicago.
James Teltschik grew up in Robstown, but now lives in San Antonio. He's currently recuperating at Northwestern Hospital after the surgery.
Surgeons told family members that Jim's surgery was "textbook" and that Teltschik is "doing great." The surgery began late Thursday and continued into Friday morning before it was completed.
Telschik is expected to remain in intensive care for two to three days in case of rejection of the new lungs.
Doctors say that Teltschik's lungs are working and he's doing great and hope to take him off the ventilator soon.
The family thanks everyone for their support and prayers through his hospitalization and beyond.
Teltschik was first hospitalized on Oct.14 in San Antonio.
"He got bad so quickly," his sister-in-law Wilma Grupe said. "It’s like he was feeling badly for a couple of days (and then) he went to an emergency clinic.”
Jim was transferred to Northwestern University Hospital, a facility known for its cutting-edge surgeries after already performed various transplants.
At his side, Jim's wife, Lisa, has been there for all of the good and bad news.
“His lungs are ravaged," Lisa Teltschik said. "The doctors told us that his lungs will never recover.”
Teltschik has recently been added to the National Transplant Registry and is now at the top of their list. He is currently in the ICU in Chicago waiting to hear when to expect his double bilateral lung transplant.
“I think I just feel lucky," said Jim Teltschik. "To be one of those to be given this chance."
He could be waiting anywhere from 24 hours to two months, but he is determined to keep fighting.
“You can’t give up," he said. "You can never give up."
Having family and friends in two communities, Robstown and San Antonio, the Teltschik family hopes the support can help Jim continue fighting into 2021.
“Just have hope for this new year," said Grupe. "It’s the only thing that we do have is hope and we feel like Jim will recover."
In order for Jim Teltschik to have an easier recovery, Grupe tells KRIS 6 that Jim and Lisa Teltschik have made the move from South Texas to Chicago.
Cost of the bilateral lung transplant could approach $1 million.
If you would like to help the Teltschik family they have started a campaign with South Central Catastrophic Illness Fund to help with expenses.