4-year-old who spent 307 days at Texas Children's leaves with new lungs after double transplant

Mayra Moreno Image
Thursday, March 16, 2023
4-year-old leaves Texas Children's with new lungs after 307 days
After 307 days at Texas Children's Hospital, Ava Thomas has a new set of lungs and is stronger than ever after undergoing a double transplant.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A brave little girl, just 4 years old, is now stronger than ever after undergoing a double lung transplant surgery at Texas Children's Hospital.

Little Ava Thomas said goodbye to all of her nurses and doctors at Texas Children's after 307 days. She gets to leave with her "new pink princess lungs," which is what she calls them.

Her story is quite remarkable: Ava has cystic fibrosis, and when she developed pneumonia last April, her body had trouble fighting it. She was transferred from her hospital in Louisiana to Texas Children's. She was on various forms of life support up until she received a double-lung transplant. Her parents say this whole thing happened very suddenly, and it was all so scary.

"It has been a wild and crazy trip, but (we) feel relieved, scared a little, naturally, but just excited to move forward," Jon Thomas, Ava's dad, said.

"She is the most amazing kid. I know she is mine, but Ava is the most amazing kid. We're just so glad that she is going to be walking out here with her new princess lungs," Ava's mother, Jennifer Thomas, said.

Ava will turn 5 years old in April. The family will stay in Houston for a few more months doing some follow-up care, but eventually, they will go back home to Louisiana.

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