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Local woman undergoes successful triple-organ transplant surgery
NORTH COAST- A North Coast woman has beat the odds after an extensive surgery left her with three new organs.
"It is a miracle you know,” said stepfather Linus Lorenzen, “Things like this do not happen everyday." Ashley Pearce, 26, has a second chance at life said Lorenzen,
"You are looking at losing your daughter one minute you know, and you have got hope now."
Monday night Pearce underwent a double lung transplant, a heart transplant, and a kidney transplant, all during the same operation. She has been battling a life-shortening hereditary disease called Cystic Fibrosis since she was five years old.
"She has been fighting this her entire life, she has had at least one surgery per year, up until the point where your lungs can no longer function."
It has been emotional journey for both Pearce and her family, and a fight that Lorenzen was afraid of, up until just two days ago when Pearce was a match for a transplant surgery.
Lorenzen said, "I could tell she was not going to make it much longer. It just happened that a girl passed away and they were able to go and harvest her organs."
Pearce went into surgery Monday night that lasted for seven hours, but now the road to recovery and steep medical bills is starting to set in, a cost that the North Coast has rallied together to raise funds for.
"Our community is small but mighty, we do a lot,” said local Children’s Organ Transplant Association Organizer Felicia Goodman, “I believe right now we have raised $60,000 and our first goal was $100,000."
A price that will likely increase Goodman said, but will cover medication costs for the rest of Pearce’s life. "It is hard. We want to do as much as we can so that all they need to focus on is getting Ashley as healthy as she needs to be."
While the family is focused on Pearce’s health, the community is focused on her future, and will hold a benefit Friday night at Eureka Women’s Club.
Kiwanis Club Member and fundraising organizer for the event, Carole Crossley said, "The reason for our existence is to change our own communities one child at a time and this is the perfect opportunity to do that."
It is a long road ahead for Pearce, but her family said it is a blessing that came at the perfect time, "What she did and what God gave her the strength to do is to me, a miracle,” said Lorenzen.