Her physicians at Johns Hopkins put her on the lung transplant list at Cleveland Clinic. In September 2009, organs became available, and she had a double lung transplant. After a 13-hour surgery and 2 cardiac arrests in the OR, her recovery was extremely complicated but she is happy to be able to sing again.
After a lung transplant, an aria: a story of survival from end-stage pulmonary hypertension
TED talks: "You'll never sing again, said her doctor. But in a story from the very edge of medical possibility, operatic soprano Charity Tillemann-Dick tells a double story of survival -- of her body, from a double lung transplant -- and of her spirit, fueled by an unwavering will to sing. A powerful story from TEDMED 2011." Tillemann-Dick was diagnosed in 2004 – at the age of 20 – with Idiopathic Pulmonary Hypertension, a disease that causes high blood pressure in the pulmonary artery, which connects the heart to the lungs. People with the disease typically have a two-to-five-year mortality rate after diagnosis.