3 years later, Topeka's Taliaferro family grateful for gift of double-lung transplant

The Topeka Capital-Journal | Phil Anderson
Madison Taliaferro, a freshman at Washburn Rural, draw a picture of flowers for Penny Lott whose son's lungs were given to Madison three years ago after his unexpected death at age 17. Madison was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at age 2 and had a double-lung transplant in November 2012.

Three years ago Thursday, Madison Taliaferro, who was 12 years old at the time, received the gift of life when she underwent surgery for a double-lung transplant at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

“If she didn’t get a transplant,” said her mother, Desiree Taliaferro, 36, of Topeka, “she wouldn’t have made it to her 13th birthday.”

The gift came at a high price, as Madison’s new lungs came from a high school senior who died suddenly and unexpectedly in an accident on a Mississippi baseball field.

On Thursday, family members and friends came together in Topeka to celebrate the three-year anniversary of Madison’s transplant surgery, and to thank the parents of the boy whose lungs she now uses to breathe.

Throughout her childhood, Madison struggled to breathe as a result of cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder that affects primarily the lungs, but also other organs, such as the pancreas, liver and kidneys.

By November 2012, she was down to 17 percent of her lung capacity. She could no longer walk up stairs or even ride her bike. Continue reading


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