Living at Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina, Libby Hankins of Gordo is fighting for her life now more than ever. According to family and friends, Libby’s body is rejecting her new lungs and she’s fighting off a virus that doctors are treating with an experimental drug.Libby’s third-grade teacher and close family friend Kim Dyer said she’s devastated that Libby is going through pain again.
“To know that she’s in rejection, it’s heartbreaking,” Dyer said.
Libby’s best friend, Laurel Campbell, said Libby is the first person receiving the experimental drug.
“It’s never been used in a transplant patient before, so she’s the first one to receive the medicine for this purpose,” Campbell said. “So we’re just praying with all that we have that it’s successful.”
At 2 years old, Libby was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. In April 2016, she received a double lung transplant. Now, she’s undergoing a treatment that will hopefully remove the antibodies rejecting her new lungs.
“We know what a fighter she is, and if anybody can pull through this we know she can,” Campbell said.
“There was just never a time that you saw Libby at a point that she gave up,” Dyer said.
Dyer said Libby’s diagnoses never stopped her from living her life.
“There have been so many highs in her life, where she has come through, being in the hospital for weeks and then getting out of the hospital and cheering at a ball game,” Dyer said.
Libby’s strength comes from her family and friends but above all, her faith, Dyer said.
“I think Libby gains a lot of her strength for her love for Jesus, that she knows she was put here on this earth for a purpose and no matter what she’s had to endure that He’s never forgotten her and through it all,” she said. “He’s been there by her and blessed her through it.”
Friends and family said they’re thankful for the outpouring of support.
“I thank everyone who followed Libby and supported her through prayer and donation,” Dyer said. “We’re just so thankful for her donor family that she has had this time.”
Before she was hospitalized, Libby was student-teaching at Northport Elementary School and studying to become a special needs teacher.
“She related well to children,” Dyer said. “She could connect to them, she knew how they felt.”
“If you’ve ever met her, she loves everyone,” Campbell said.