Compiled for Web by WVUA 23 Web Writer Abby Banks
A young Gordo woman battling Cystic Fibrosis has a second chance at life after receiving a lung transplant.
“It feels good” were the first words spoken by 22-year-old Libby Hankins breathing through her new lungs.
Libby received a double lung transplant in Durham, North Carolina. The family said the lungs were a perfect match.
“She’s doing good and she’s doing probably better than most folks in this situation because she is so strong and so brave and so determined,” said Scott Hankins, Libby’s father.
Lung transplant surgeries do not come cheap. A transplant and its related expenses could cost more than $500,000. Children’s Organ Transplant Association is an organization that helps families through fundraising and support. COTA hoped to raise $50,000 for lungs for Libby.
“We planned out six months of events to happen here in Gordo and surrounding counties as well, and we have multiple volunteers that are connected to Libby,” said Kim Dyer, public relations coordinator for COTA and Libby’s kindergarten teacher.
Dyer said despite the challenges Libby has faced, she has always had a smile.
“Seeing Libby grown up and seeing the amount of community support she’s always had and her family as well, it was just a heart-felt feeling you had to step up and reach out,” said Dyer.
Hankins said the support has been overwhelming.
“I don’t have the words to express how I feel about what’s going on because Libby has been such an inspiration to so many people for so long and just to see so many people showing their love and concern for her just touches all of us,” said Hankins.
Libby was so touched that she designed a T-shirt based on Psalms 116, verse two, “Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath.”
So far, COTA has raised $17,000 and their goal is $50,000. If you would like to donate, you can go to cotaforlibbyh.com.