Before, most cystic fibrosis patients didn't live past their 20s. Although medical advances are helping these patients survive longer, eventually many with this devastating genetic condition will need a lung or liver transplant. One young Las Vegas woman needed both.
Despite four hours of breathing treatments every day, 19-year-old Jennifer Golden excelled in sports. But cystic fibrosis started to rapidly steal her breath away. The genetic condition fills her lungs with thick, sticky mucus.
"I've spent my whole life coughing and trying to breathe and trying to catch my breath. And now that's not an issue," said Golden.
That's no longer an issue thanks to a double lung and liver transplant that took place at UCLA Medical Center.
The surgery took 23 doctors, nurses and staffers 13 hours to perform. The complicated surgical endeavor poses many challenges. But in Golden's rare case, the genetic condition was also attacking her liver.
Read more a view video: http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/health/your_health&id=8512159