Chicago police captain's life saved by double lung transplant

In a medical miracle, one of Chicago's finest was saved by surgeons at Northwestern Medicine after a series of life-threatening health challenges.

Back in 2020, Captain Arthur Gillespie found himself hospitalized for 12 days battling a severe case of COVID-19. However, what initially appeared to be a struggle against the virus turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

During his hospital stay, doctors made a startling discovery: cancer in Gillespie's right lung.

"If it wasn’t for the COVID, there’s no telling how long because there was no symptoms or signs that was presenting themselves that let me know I was in that condition. So I just had to be grateful that it was caught when it was caught," said Gillespie.

Following this diagnosis, Gillespie underwent chemotherapy and had most of his right lung removed. Yet, his health continued to deteriorate as his left lung suffered damage from the effects of COVID-19.

At 56-years-old, Gillespie faced a grim prognosis when doctors informed him that there was nothing more they could do. Undeterred, Gillespie turned to Northwestern Medicine, where surgeons performed a double lung transplant, ultimately saving his life.

"I recognize I was given an opportunity that a lot of people don’t get. And I’m just thankful. I’m thankful beyond words," Gillespie expressed.

While still in recovery, Gillespie is steadily regaining strength each day. Though uncertain about his return to duty as a police captain, he hopes his journey serves as a poignant reminder for fellow officers to prioritize their health.