Shirene Philipose, MD


After five months of being a resident physician, I found myself in my patient’s shoes. I came home for Thanksgiving in 2021, and found myself not feeling so well. Since I had taken care of COVID patients in the hospital, I went to get tested, and tested negative. However, I developed some nausea and vomiting that eventually landed me in a local ER. With no known significant lung history and an unknown cause, I slowly but acutely developed respiratory distress, and eventually asked for intubation. I was placed in a medically-induced coma, and shortly after, was transferred to a larger medical center for more advanced care.

I was then placed on ECMO, a heart-lung machine. Just a couple weeks later, my family had to make the decision to place me on the lung transplant list. We had talked about this as a family in the past, and they knew that I would have wanted to donate my organs, and therefore, would be willing to accept a donor organ.

People around the world were praying for me; even to this day, I meet or talk to someone who has prayed for “the girl who needed a lung transplant.” I received my double lung transplant in February 2022. I am so thankful for the gracious act of my donor and their family, for their decision of organ donation, and for God giving me a second chance at life.

Because of the generous gift of organ donation, I was able to see my dad one last time, on my birthday, while I was recovering in the hospital, before he passed away a couple weeks later. I am also able to continue my dream of pursuing a career in medicine, and hope to take what I learned as a patient to bring positive change to patient care. I am thankful for each day that I wake up, and for every breath I take. While that was the hardest year in my life so far, and not the path I would have chosen, I can wholeheartedly say that “it is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.”