HOUSTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Her life story is nothing short of a miracle.
Nancy Magana is one of just hundred babies who’ve received a full lung transplant at eight-weeks of age.
She was born with a genetic mutation that causes the surfactant protein B deficiency. “It was the day we knew that she was sick” says her mother Fernanda. “She got trouble breathing.”
Her parents knew what to look for because they had lost a child to the same mutation in 2002.
Nancy’s only hope — a complete lung transplant. The hospital rushed Nancy to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston – one of the few places in the country to offer lung transplants for infants. Dr. George Mallory Jr.- the medical director of the lung transplant program at the hospital was one of the doctors to see her.
After seven long weeks they found a donor. It could not have come soon enough for Dr. Mallory, ” This girl would not have lasted many more days if we hadn’t gotten the lung offered when we got it.”
On January 5th, Nancy was operated on. She was only eight-weeks-old. Dr. Mallory was pleased by the success of the surgery “When Nancy came out of the operating room, on that Sunday afternoon, I just said wow! It never ceases to amaze me. This girls who’s lungs were so sick and who’s chest didn’t move, looked so fabulous.”
Nancy is still in the hospital in Houston. She’s expected to be released on Friday. But, the family will continue to stay in Houston for the next three months.
There are many challenges that lay ahead for this strong little Texan.
“Her chance of being alive in five years is 50 to 60 percent, says Dr. Mallory. “There’s a lot of uncertainties for Nancy”
It hasn’t been very easy for the Magana’s either. They’ve been living at the Ronald McDonald’s house in Houston since their move there. Their 3-year old son lives in Fort Worth with grandma. And, the expenses are mounting.
Dr. Mallory says not many people go through this type of surgery, “one of the incredible qualities of Nancy’s mother is without having a lot of sophistication, she loved her baby so much she decided to make this crazy move.”
For Fernanda and her family — their hope for their little girl is simple,” I hope that she get a good life,” she says. She wants her baby to be healthy and grow up like a normal kid.