Md. Man Who Received Synthetic Trachea Has Died

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A sad update on a story WJZ first brought you about a revolutionary procedure to save a Baltimore man’s life.

Christopher Lyles, 30, was only the second person in the world to have a transplant using his own stem cells.

Monday, his family told Mary Bubala Lyles passed away.

Bubala first met Christopher Lyles in November 2010, a day before he left for Sweden for revolutionary surgery. He became only the second person in the world and the first from the U.S. to have a synthetic trachea, or windpipe transplant, using his own stem cells to grow and form collagen on the plastic. His own trachea was cancerous.

Lyles returned to Baltimore and spoke with us in January, as living, breathing proof of a new era in regenerative medicine.

“It’s amazing to be that pioneer, to step out and have this type of surgery,” Lyles said.

But just over a week ago, he was hospitalized. Then, there was the heartbreaking news that Lyles died Monday morning. It was on the website Help Hope Live, which was raising money to help Lyles pay his medical bills. On his Facebook page, where he connected with so many people about his recovery, people are leaving their condolences to his family and his young daughter.

Lyles was just 30.

Lyles’ family confirmed the news Monday morning. They are so very sad and plan to speak about Lyles and what went wrong sometime Tuesday.

More from Mary Bubala
  • queen

    RIP brave man.

  • MD mom

    Didn’t know the guy, but queen said it all. Takes courage to go through a radical, new & untested procedure.

  • jdash

    Inknew Chris from undergrad fellow school of enginnering grad ..I remenber late night study session innthe engineering building… great guy better father..he will be missed

  • Angel

    I did’t know Chris, but saw his story when he first got the surgery. He gave hope to us out here that are dealing with health issues that doctors can’t seem to treat otherwise. I am heartbroken to hear of his passing. He is truly a brave man and I’m sending some extra prayers to his family and friends. May he rest in Peace.

  • Mark

    Damn.. RIP.. I was super excited by this story when I first heard it.

    • Mark

      Not this latest development, the surgery itself. Im sorry to hear that it did not work

  • Nika

    RIP Chris.!!!!!!You were a light that lit up the whole neighborhood. I am honored to have known you and watch you grow up to be a brave and intelligent man.

  • SoDone

    I didn’t know Chris personally but I remember him bc we went to the same middle school. I’m so sorry to hear about this and my heart goes out to his family his daughter and friends.

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