Our dear Kelly is once again a candidate for a double-lung transplant. For those of you who are unfamiliar with her story, here's a glimpse!
Kelly was diagnosed at 5 months old with cystic fibrosis. At 10, her parents were told she had contracted a type of bacteria called Burkholderia cenocepacia (B. Cepacia). After much research, they were able to find a doctor who specialized in B. cepacia cystic fibrosis patients; Dr. Robert Stern. Kelly spent the next 12 years under his care where he poured every ounce of his medical knowledge and ability into keeping Kelly healthy and alive. Finally he told her, "there were no more rabbits in his hat," no more treatment options left. Kelly was too sick to continue with the current treatment, and was informed she needed a double-lung transplant.
There were rumors that the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center was rethinking transplanting the high-risk B. cepacia CF patients, and so Dr. Stern advocated on her behalf to plead her case. They agreed to evaluate Kelly’s case and eventually listed her. On March 23rd, 2012 she received her life-saving double lung transplant.
For the next 4 years we had our Kelly back and she was thriving! There was nothing that could stop her. She was able to do countless things she was unable to complete with her previous lungs. She traveled all over the country, completed her first college degree, went to work on her second, and went back to work. She completed two 5k runs and was invited to speak alongside Dr. Stern at Case Western School of Medicine (Cleveland).
Unfortunately, in January of 2016, Kelly's body began suddenly and inexplicably rejecting her donor lungs. In a matter of months, she had lost almost 75% of her current lung function and she once again was relying on her doctors for her health and her life. The transplant team in Pittsburgh decided she should be relisted to undergo a second double-lung transplant surgery.
Therefore, Kelly and her family are in need of your help. In addition to your prayers, please consider monetary donations on Kelly’s behalf during this time. The Donehue family will be required to move from Michigan and live in Pittsburgh prior to and after Kelly’s surgery. This takes a huge toll on the financial status of their family. Kelly is a strong, vibrant young woman who has been through many health trials but has remained full of faith through it all. She is confident that God has her best interests in mind and is in control of each aspect of this journey. Let's help our warrior girl during this second transplant. On behalf of Kelly and her family, we appreciate the continued encouragement, support, and love.
- Lisa LaClair Williams
- Brad & Sandy O'Neill
- Kevin Keeve
- Andrea Trese