Worthington resident returns home after lung transplant

THE GLOBE | Karl Evers-Hillstrom
Brittany Olson and her mother, Pam Westendorf, stands at Duke Gardens after her successful lung transplant on Feb. 11. (Special to The Globe)
WORTHINGTON — After spending five months in Durham, N.C. for a double lung transplant, Worthington resident Brittany Olson is back home.

On May 19, Olson, her husband Josh, parents Ty and Pam Westendorf, and two dogs Gema and Loki departed Duke University Hospital in a two-car convoy for a 23-hour drive back to Worthington.

Since her return, Olson has been treated like somewhat of a local celebrity.

“People I don’t even know come up to me and say, ‘Hey, you’re the girl with the lung transplant, right? How’re you doing?,’” Olson said. “It’s great to get so much support from this community.”

It’s primarily the Worthington community and surrounding towns that helped Olson pay for the life-saving transplant and other medical and travel costs, raising nearly $44,000 since donations began last September.

Olson, 27, has lived her entire life with cystic fibrosis, a debilitating condition that primarily deteriorates lung function. Her lung function dropped to life-threatening levels last year, forcing her to undergo a lung transplant. Continue reading

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