St. Patrick’s Day will be a day of fun, and merriment for many on the Central and South Coasts this weekend.
But, it means much more for one woman. It’s the anniversary of when she got a second chance at life. This Sunday marks the tenth anniversary of a lifesaving double lung transplant for Courtney Ferriera of Santa Barbara.
The story starts 14 years ago. Ferriera was a teacher at Santa Barbara’s Adams Elementary School. She was having chest pains, and thought she might be having a heart attack. But, that wasn’t the problem.
Doctors were initially baffled about what was going on with the 28 year old woman. They final discovered she had a rare disease known as LAM, which was destroying her lungs, and her ability to breathe.
The prognosis wasn’t good: She needed a double lung transplant, or she would die. She was placed on a transplant list, waiting for a potential donor.
On March 17th, 2009, Ferriera’s miracle happened. She underwent a successful double lung transplant. But, her miracle came out of another family’s tragedy. It was the unexpected death of a Kern County man, who was the lung donor. He had a brain aneurysm, and his family made his organs available to help others.
Ferrriera says she’s trying to embrace the gift she’s been given by living her life to the fullest. She says there’s not a day that goes by she isn’t filled with gratitude for her life, and the gift Pete, the donor, and his family have given to her.