Early Christmas miracle: Woman receives lifesaving double-lung transplant
A young woman is recovering after her second double lung transplant procedure at the UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh last Friday, Dec. 16.
Morgan Yoney's organ transplant operation lasted for nine hours. Though the 22-year-old was critically ill before the procedure, doctors are now confident that she is well on her way to recovery.
The lifesaving organ came from Chicago. The identity of the donor was not revealed. Doctors tested the lung's compatibility to Morgan on Dec. 14, and they were cleared the following day.
She has been fighting for her life against cystic fibrosis since she was barely one-year-old. The hereditary disease causes severe damage to the organs of the body. The lungs and the digestive system are its most common targets.
Morgan's original lungs already gave out six years ago. She underwent her first double-lung transplant operation, along with a liver transplant procedure, at the Children's Hospital in 2010. She was 15 years old then.
Years later, cystic fibrosis also weakened her donated lungs significantly to the point that she needed to replace her initial transplant. Her body was rejecting the lung transplant in 2013.
Morgan was on the transplant waiting list for exactly 842 days. She waited for her organ for more than two years. Her parents, Bob and Tammy Yoney, feared that their daughter may not acquire her lungs on time.
"My biggest fear was not getting the lungs," Tammy said in a report from a Pittsburgh-based news authority. "Everyday was a struggle for her. Knowing she is so small, it's not an easy task to find lungs that fit somebody that small."
Over the years, people from her Green County community and beyond had been pitching in to help her overcome her situation. When news broke out that she needed a new pair, friends and strangers alike spread the word.