Experts Weigh In On Sarah's Recovery - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Experts Weigh In On Sarah's Recovery

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A week ago Sarah cheered at the prospect of getting another chance at life. Now her family is waiting for her to take her first breath with her new donor lungs.

According to Sarah's aunt Sharon Ruddock, on Wednesday night, "It's very very hard to recover from a lung transplant. It's painful, it's difficult. But Sarah has always said she was never going for easy, she was just going for possible. So she's a fighter, and we're sure she's going to get through this."

Sarah had waited 18 long months for her lung transplant, after the cystic fibrosis she was born with destroyed the ones she had. And that will make her situation now even harder.

FOX 29 asked an expert to weigh in on Sarah's recovery. According to Dr. George Mallory of Texas Children's Hospital, "I think the biggest challenge will be that this girl's been so sick for so long, she may be in a weakened state and may require a longer period of time for recovery."

But her family and other lung transplant patients say doctors will try to get her breathing on her own as soon as possible. That's what happened the day after Kathi Clapham received her new lungs. Clapham appeared with her kids on Good Day Thursday morning.

"The next morning they were able to pull the breathing tube, which is amazing to come out of it that early," said Clapham. That's what they want to do with Sarah too.

When the lungs do get working for Sarah, doctors say she'll notice the difference immediately.

According to Dr. Benjamin Gaston of University of Virginia Hospital, "So you go, if you can imagine, from being short of breath all the time, from going to bed short of breath, from waking up short of breath, always with a sense of chronic suffocation, to being able to breathe normally."

And give Sarah back her life. If she's lucky, she'll end up just like Kathi Clapham.

"You know, my kids get sick, my husband gets sick, and I'm the healthiest one in the house now," joked Clapham.

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