Healthy Living

May 12, 2010 7:20 PM by Bethany Tucker

Los Osos teen recovering after life-saving lung transplant

A Los Osos teenager is recovering after receiving a life-changing, double-lung transplant.

Holly Navolt was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis when she was an infant. It causes a person's lungs to deteriorate over time, and the 18-yaer-old has been waiting for a transplant so she can live a better life.

Tuesday night she found out her wait was over.

"I was like, 'Holly! Get out of the car! You have lungs!" Those words were like music to Holly's ears Tuesday night. Her stepmother, Christine, says Holly was about to go on a driving lesson when the family received a life-changing phone call. "I thought, nobody would be calling at this hour unless it was the lungs," said Holly's stepmother, Christine Navolt. It was Stanford Medical Center calling. They had a match for Holly.

Doctors told her it usually takes three to six months to find a match, but Holly got hers after just one week of being listed on the National Lung Transplant Registry.

They had just hours to get to the hospital. That was made easy, thanks to a pilot friend who offered to fly Holly and her father to Stanford. "Everything fell into place," said Christine. "the weather was great, the plane happened to be ready."

By early Wednesday morning, it was determined the lungs were a perfect match. That's when doctors began surgery.

"Holly would not be able to live," said Christine. "if you get on the lung transplant list, they say you're within one to two years of dying."

Holly's family tells KSBY News, she came out of surgery just fine. In a phone interview, her cousin Amber said, "the doctor said on a scale of one to 10, Holly is doing an eight!"

Holly will be spending three months recovering in Stanford. After that, the possibilities are endless. "She's excited because of the possibilities of the good changes that will come," said Christine.

Because the transplant came earlier than the Navolt family thought, they say they need the community's help. "We weren't really expecting it this quickly, so we're still short our funds that we kind of needed to cover everything," said Mrs. Navolt.

Family and friends are holding two fundraisers on Saturday, May 22 to help collect donations for Holly. The first is the 5-K "Hike for Holly" in the Huasna Valley. Registration begins at 8:00a.m. at the Tar Springs Ranch. They're asking for a $40 donation to register. There is also a benefit dinner at Morro Bay High School that same night. It begins at 6:00p.m. and tickets are $25.

The Navolt family is happy for any help the community can offer. "We just really appreciate everybody who has taken so much time and just put the fundraising together for us," said Christine Navolt.

Holly is thankful, too. Back in March we caught up with her at her home. She told us, "I always like meeting new people, and the help would be greatly appreciated."

To learn more about Holly, just click here.

For information about the benefit dinner at Morro Bay High School, contact Lauren Sparks at savehollydinner@yahoo.com

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