April 9, 2012 - Ashley McKnight, of Forsyth County, NC, was born with cystic fibrosis. She got new lungs in a double-lung transplant operation in 2009, when she was 14.
However, her body began rejecting the lungs and she went into respiratory failure. Last year, she was placed back on the waiting list for new lungs. In January, she got the new lungs and she is now doing well.
Ashley is being helped by the Jason Ray Foundation, which has offered to pay for medical equipment that Ashley needs for therapy.
The foundation honors the memory of Jason Ray, a UNC student who was the Tar Heel mascot Rameses. Ray died after a hit-and-run accident while he was walking on a road near the Meadowlands arena in New Jersey during the 2007 NCAA basketball tournament. After his death, Ray's organs were donated. The foundation promotes organ donation.
Dr. Benjamin Haithcock was the surgeon for both of Ashley's lung transplants.
- Margaret Alford Cloud, UNC Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery