"I Remember Waking Up And I Was Like I Can Breathe"

6:32 PM, Nov 22, 2012   |    comments
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Durham, NC (WLTX) - Imagine being born with Cystic Fibrosis and having to rely on an oxygen tank to breathe, that's how 20 year old Heather McCoy felt until her double lung transplant.

"It might have taken her body but never her spirit or her faith," said Julie McCoy.

20 year old Heather McCoy was born with Cystic Fibrosis.

"C-F is like you are always drowning on the inside," said Heather McCoy.

For most of her life she's had trouble breahting.

"I always said if I ever had an illness, I had the best family because my parents and siblings and everyone else is just phenomenal," said Heather.

After months of raising money just to get on the Donor list for two lungs.. Heather and her family moved to Durham, North Carolina.

"This experience up here is like we felt that God sent us to Duke University Medical Center, this was the place that we were supposed to be," said Julie.

While at Duke Heather thought her lungs would come 3 different times, only to find out she'd have to continue to wait. But through it all, she never lost her faith.

"I just kept the determination and said I will get up the next morning and one day it's going to be it," said Heather.

The time finally came, the day before her mom's birthday.

"I remember wheeling back into the operating room and I didn't even have any words, I was like God's got me and I remember waking up and I was like I can breathe," said Heather.

"She actually wrote on a piece of paper, "I can breathe," I didn't want to cry but later on they took the tubes out of her and she whispered I can breathe and that is the best feeling ever to know that your child after all those years can finally breathe," said Julie.  

"It's unbelievable and then you have to remind yourself, like I would catch myself gasping for air and you have to keep telling yourself you are fixed now, there is nothing broken inside of you and these lungs are good. The recovery is hard but you take deep breathes and know that you can breathe," said Heather.

On this Thanksgiving, the McCoy family has a lot to be thankful for.

"My donor and their family decided to let someone have life. This thanksgiving I am going to be able to wake up and breathe easy and I just thank my donor. Hopefully they were religious like me but if they weren't oh well but I just wake up everyday thankful that there is someone out there that gave me a chance."


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