Statesboro woman raises money for lung transplant - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Statesboro woman raises money for lung transplant

Andrea Maechtle Andrea Maechtle

Andrea Maechtle will move to the area around Duke University in six days. She'll live there as a candidate for a double lung transplant. She was diagnosed with a rare genetic enzyme disorder years ago when she went to a doctor for what she thought was a nagging cold.

"He told me I had this rare disease called Alpha One Tripsom Deficiency, which I'd never heard of. He told me I would have five years to live," she explained.

While she has outlived that timetable, her health has gotten worse. Last November, she finally and reluctantly applied to Duke's Medical Center for a transplant. The surgery costs $800,000 on average before insurance.

They require patients to raise $25,000 to cover the expenses they'll incur during the six months before and after a surgery. That includes housing, meals, medical consultations, drug co-pays and more.

She and other patients maintain web pages through the National Foundation for Transplants. Andrea said she's been overwhelmed by the support.

"When I get back here with my new lungs, I'm going to do something to pay this forward," she pledged.

To learn more about Andrea's illness and how you can financially support her, click here.

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