Family continues to experience miracles

Gwyneth Rose Lawrenson, ABC11 Anchor Barbara Gibbs and Tricia Lawrenson
May 21, 2013 9:00:00 PM PDT
A woman with cystic fibrosis, who survived childbirth and a double-lung transplant five years ago, is living proof that miracles can happen not once, but twice.

Desperately ill, Tricia Lawrenson had her first double lung transplant in 2008, the only one at Duke University Medical Center to be on the list while pregnant.

It was extremely risky, but Tricia and her husband Nathan said they would never consider terminating their only biological child.

Gwyneth Rose Lawrenson was given a 50-50 chance when she came into the world, born at 24 weeks during emergency surgery. She weighed only 1 pound. Her mother was given the same odds.

They were later discharged after seven long months living at Duke. She, Nathan and Gwyneth were finally to go home to Nags Head, as a family.

Little did they know, they would soon need another miracle. One week after they got home, Tricia was diagnosed with lymphoma -- cancer in her new lungs -- which she beat months later.

However, Tricia had to be put back on the transplant list about six months ago when her body began to reject the lungs.

"It gave us five years and four really good years .. past year has been a struggle," Nathan said.

It was Tricia's wish to get new lungs on Mother's Day, or the day after, on her 31st birthday.

However, it was a day later when they got the good news.

"Got a call Tuesday morning around 10 o'clock ... we said goodbye and prayed together and she was in the OR about 5 o'clock and the surgery started about 6 p.m.," Nathan said.

Eleven hours later, Tricia was out of surgery.

"As soon as I woke up my lungs felt great," she said. "I was ready to just get out of there ... get out of the bed."

Nathan and even Tricia's doctors were afraid she might not survive a second transplant -- something very rare. Of the 1324 transplants performed at Duke so far, only 58 have been redo's.

"Everything kind of fell into place where God was just showing me it was going to work," Tricia said. "I didn't lose faith and I have a lot of people supporting me and praying for me."

Nathan, who has been blogging Tricia's story from the beginning, has developed a worldwide following. You can read more about their journey on his 'confessions of a CF husband' blog.

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