PORTSMOUTH, Va. — More than a dozen friends and family members of Hannah Goetz surprised her as Hannah came home for the first time in four months.
"Emotionally, I didn't know if I would have my granddaughter today. The first part of July, we thought we were going to lose her,” said Goetz's grandfather Harry Patterson.
Some very dark days for Hannah began in June shortly after she graduated from Smithfield High School. A Caribbean cruise with family was planned to celebrate the milestone, but toward the end of the trip, Hannah became ill.
At Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters, she was diagnosed with flu and pneumonia. Her lungs filled with fluid. Hannah would battle sepsis and blood clots. Her condition was complicated by her Cystic Fibrosis.
She was so sick she was rushed to a hospital in Northern Virginia to wait for a double lung transplant. Doctors would make a rare decision to remove Hannah's lungs and let a machine breath for her.
Four days later a donor was found, and Hannah would spend three weeks in a medically-induced coma.
At just 17-years-old Hannah had to have a double lung transplant.
After the surgery, she went to strengthen her new lungs at the Ronald McDonald House in Falls Church. On Tuesday, was her first-time home in four months.
"I didn't think I would miss my house so much, because I always wanted to get away from it. But it felt good to be just here," Goetz said.
She said this experience made her humbler, giving and a lot more thankful. She is ready to get back on the road to exploring life!
"Just getting in my car and driving. I haven't done that in a while. It kind of like a therapy for me. Just get in and play music," she said.
An organ donor saved Goetz’s life and she said she wishes more people would sign up to become one.
"I’m just living proof that it's a miracle and it can happen," Goetz said.
There is a GoFundMe page set up as well, so if you're interested in donating, click here.