Community members, family, and friends gathered Wednesday morning to welcome a special little girl home.
As ABC 30 reports, Lizzy Highstreet was met with smiling faces, cheers, and joyous applause when she returned home after undergoing a double lung transplant.
Lizzy said she was surprised to see everyone as she was escorted through the parade led by the Visalia Fire Department.
The 11-year-old was diagnosed with the disease Cystic Fibrosis when she was just a baby. She spoke with ABC 30 and shed a little light on the CF:
“Cystic Fibrosis is where your pancreas doesn’t digest food all the way, which makes everything else in your body, like the gunk in your lungs stickier. So mine they just got really sticky I couldn’t clear them out with coughing or doing my treatments.”
Lizzy’s lungs started to decline a couple of years ago. However, this year, things took a turn for the worst when she had to be airlifted to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford in June and placed in the Intensive Care Unit.
According to her family, she was eventually placed on life support:
“After a week on a ventilator in the ICU, the doctor suggested switching Lizzy to VV neck ECMO (life support) to help sustain her till she was listed for transplant. On June 18 Lizzy was officially listed on the pediatric lung transplant list and on June 20 she was listed on the adolescent young small adults list.”
It was precisely one month later that Lizzy and her family learned she would be getting a new set of lungs.
Aaron Highstreet, Lizzy’s father, said July 18 was a good day for all of them:
“We were kind of at our lowest low at that point and the doctor came in and said ‘We have an offer for a lung transplant’. We were overjoyed and ever since that day on July 18th she’s been making steps, better and better and better.”
Lizzy’s older sister Olivia Highstreet said they are so grateful for the sacrifice one family had to make made to help Lizzy live:
“In their darkest hour it really helped our family and bring us back Lizzy so we are super thankful.”
Olivia said she is just happy to have her little sister back home again, adding that there was a time she didn’t think that would happen.
However, Lizzy didn’t seem to have any doubts thanks to her faith in God. The 11-year-old added:
“Have faith in God that he will be beside.”