“Soprano Charity Sunshine Tillemann-Dick, who performed worldwide after two separate lung transplants, has died,” reports Faith Karimi on Thursday (4/25) at CNN.com. “Tillemann-Dick, 35, received her most recent lungs from a Honduran immigrant in a transplant operation in 2012. In 2004, she was diagnosed with advanced ideopathic pulmonary hypertension, a rare and potentially fatal condition that affects the heart and lungs. At the time, she was studying in Budapest, Hungary…. She attempted to avoid a transplant by having a prescribed liquid medication pumped directly to her heart…. Tillemann-Dick wanted to keep the lungs she had worked tirelessly for years to train. Her vocal cords could be damaged in surgery, and even if the procedure went perfectly, she would have to learn how to sing with the new lungs…. Her first transplant [in 2009] was 14 hours long…. Her body rejected the transplant after years of brutal recovery. In 2012, she matched with another registered donor. This time, she was breathing on her own within a week after the surgery. Despite doctors telling her she would never sing opera again, her debut album, ‘American Grace,’ reached No. 1 on Billboard’s traditional classical charts in 2014.”

Posted April 26, 2019