Hartselle teen battling cystic fibrosis prepares for double lung transplant

Savannah Wallace and her family are relocating to Houston for her surgery
Updated: Jul. 4, 2019 at 9:28 PM CDT
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HARTSELLE, Ala. (WAFF) - 17-year-old Savannah Wallace was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was just nine days old.

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that attacks the lungs and digestive system, making it difficult to breathe and do everyday activities.

“We almost lost her three times. All I want is for her to be able to breathe. I don’t care what I have to do, I just want my baby to be able to breathe,” Savannah’s mother, Wendy Wallace, said.

It’s been an uphill battle for the Wallace family ever since the day they found out about Savannah’s diagnosis.

“As the years went on, it just got more and more and more. Now, it’s to the point that her lungs have just deteriorated,” her mother says.

In just the last two years, Savannah’s lungs have collapsed four times. The excruciatingly time-consuming illness is causing Savannah to get a new set of lungs.

“There’s days where I can do more things than other days. Then, some days I just can’t really get out of bed because it’s so difficult,” Savannah explained.

Every day is a challenge for the entire Wallace family.

Savannah has to take medicine from the minute she wakes up to the minute she goes to bed. She also does breathing treatments throughout the entire day.

“It’s just very difficult,” Savannah says.

Savannah’s parents are both legally blind and are on disability. This creates an obstacle with her frequent hospital visits.

“Savannah’s lungs has gotten to the point to where they are not able to do it at UAB because they’re so complicated, and we’ve been referred out to Houston, Texas,” Wallace said.

The Wallace’s are relocating to Houston in a couple weeks. However, if it wasn’t for a dear family friend, Florah Moreland, the trip would be near impossible.

“I quit my job to help take care of Savannah,” Moreland said.

Moreland lived in Maryland. Just recently, she moved to Hartselle to help the Wallace’s take care of Savannah and now plans to drive them to Houston.

“With Savannah getting the new lungs, it’s not to say it’s going to cure it, but it will extend her life," Moreland said.

A double lung transplant surgery is extremely risky. Moreland says it could be life or death.

However, the 17-year-old remains optimistic.

“I’m nervous and excited because I can do more things in life [with the new lungs],” Savannah explained.

Any and all donations are appreciated as they take this life-changing journey.

To help the Wallace family click here.

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