Teen thankful for new life after double lung, liver transplant

A 17-year-old and her family moved from Alabama to Texas Children's Hospital in Houston for a double lung transplant and after 14 hours, the procedure was a success.

This Thanksgiving, a 17-year-old girl is just thankful for something most of us take for granted, being able to breathe.

Like any high school senior, Shelby Standridge has big dreams.

"I wanted to be a dancer and a singer,” she said.

However, a devastating diagnosis put her life on hold.

"When she was 9, she had a nosebleed... a terrible nosebleed,” said Teresa Standridge, her mother.

Shelby was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at age 9, a genetic disease that impacts the lungs.

"In the last 3 or 4 years, her liver functions and her lung functions have taken a dive,” said Teresa.

Shelby came from Alabama to Texas Children's Hospital for a double lung and liver transplant.

After just one week on the waiting list, on November 8th, she went through the grueling 14-hour procedure. It's her sense of humor doctors say that got her through.

"She's very funny, she actually has a very special sense of humor so it's always very nice to come around her, because she just lifts everybody's spirits,” said Dr. Ernestina Melicoff, at Texas Children's Hospital.

"It's amazing, she's happy, full of energy, she's eating, she is making plans for the future,” said Teresa, describing her daughter after the transplant.

The best part for Shelby, just in time for Thanksgiving, her taste buds are back.

"I'm thankful for this transplant and my new life,” said Shelby.

“Just seeing her so happy now is amazing,” said her mom.

Now, children are screened at birth for Cystic Fibrosis. It just so happens Shelby was born in 1999, a few years before Alabama started screening.


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