Lee teen needs lung transplants - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lee teen needs lung transplants

Posted: Updated:

By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  A 19-year-old in Lee County is waiting on a double lung transplant.

It's a road she's been down before. When she was only ten, Victoria Doolittle was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension.

She received new lungs and that disease went away, but just a few months ago, her body began rejecting those lungs and she's struggling to breathe.

By outer appearances, Victoria Doolittle is just like any other 19-year-old girl, but on the inside, her body is in turmoil.

"It's like I'm gasping for air every time I walk and sometimes I just can't do it and I sit down and start crying, and it's really tough on me, but at least I'm still here," she said.

A few months ago, her lung function began to decline. It was obvious her new lungs were worn out. "When I couldn't walk from one side of the house to the other side of the house. That was the start of it."

She's now back on the transplant list hoping for two new lungs. It's a hard on her dad to watch his little girl struggle to breathe, again.

"It's a nightmare," says her father Bob Doolittle. "There's no words can explain it."

"Dad, you're going to start making me cry," Victoria said.

"It's very, very hard," said her father.

And unfortunately, because lung transplants don't last very long, it's something this family knew they would likely have to experience again.

"She was doing fantastic for almost the last nine years, and then got chronic rejection," said her mother, Gelene Doolittle.

Video of Victoria from 2001 showed Victoria, just before her first double lung transplant. Until her lips turned blue one day, she had never had any trouble breathing.

"We went from just having a normal life to feeling like we're on the verge of falling into hell," her mother said.

It's a hell they'll have to go through again, but Victoria says she's ready. "I'm scared to death about it, but I want it. I want to be able to breathe normally. I want to be able to do all the things a regular 19-year-old does."

Including celebrating her 20th birthday. 

Victoria was forced to miss about two and a half years of school because of her illness. She's now working on her GED.

The last time Victoria was placed on the transplant list, it took about a year until the family got the call that she had a match. They are still paying on those medical bills and know new bills will be astronomical.

You can donate to help them out.  Donations can be made by sending checks to P.O. Box 94 Leesburg, GA  31763.

 

©2010 WALB News. All rights reserved.   Feedback