Nine-year-old David Diaz is almost out of the hospital after receiving a rare double-lung transplant at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Stanford. It is the only hospital in the western United States that performs pediatric lung transplants, and the procedure is so rare that Stanford has only performed 25 of them in the past 30 years -- twice in the Diaz family.
David had someone in his corner to walk him through the scary surgery. His big sister, Doris.
She went through the same procedure a few years ago.
"I felt really bad because I went through that. I knew he would have to go through the same thing. " Doris told FOX 2.
They both suffer from cystic fibrosis -- a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe. Although there has been significant progress in the treatment of the disease, there is still no cure and many lives are cut short.
"Both David and Doris had some very complicated problems from very early on," said Dr. Carol Conrad, who heads Stanford's heart and lung transplant program. "Both required anti-biotics and hospitalizations. They had pretty tough lives."
But with the help excellent doctors and a lot of bravery, David is ready to do what all little boys dream of. “Now I can run and play with my friends,” he said.
Doctors say that both children will likely need second lung transplants eventually, but for now, everyone is breathing a little easier.
Watch the video to see how David’s big sister helped him through the procedure.
For more information and how you can help, go to cff.org