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Woman Recovering From Double Lung Transplant Thanks Pittsburgh For Generosity

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- A mother from North Carolina wants to thank Pittsburgh. She says the generosity of the people here saved her life.

We first told you about Lethia Everette back in February. An auto-immune disease had caused her body to attack her lungs, and her only chance was a transplant.

But there was a big problem: While her insurance would cover the transplant, like other patients, she couldn't actually get the donor lungs unless she had the money to afford the care required afterwards.

She made a tearful plea for help. Her doctor called it "a crisis."

Well, several months later, Lethia Everette says, "I'm doing great. It's been very successful. Very successful."

With her sons - Levon and Charmor - at her side, she was all smiles as she spoke with us at Family House in Oakland, where she's been staying.

After people learned of her story, strangers began donating to a fund and donations well exceeded the $40,000 goal.

With the money raised, doctors were able to give her new lungs at the end of February. Thursday, she'll go home to North Carolina.

"It was very touch and go, and if it had not been for the citizens of Pittsburgh, I don't know if I would have been able to overcome this," said Everette. "I am so grateful, so grateful."

Her 11-year-old son Charmor said: "I'm grateful to them because if it wasn't for them, my mom wouldn't be sitting beside me."

Everette says she's thanking God and her doctors at UPMC. She also wishes she could give a big hug to all the strangers who helped.

"It means the world to me, because without them, like I said, I probably wouldn't be here today," she said.

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