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Meaghan Grotz, the Grand Island High School honor student who wrote about her evaluation for a lung transplant in The Buffalo News NeXt section last spring, successfully underwent a 10-hour double-lung transplant operation Wednesday in the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

"The doctors and nurses are quite optimistic," her uncle, Dan Drexelius, said Thursday evening. "Everything that's going on is quite normal for this operation. Her vital signs are getting stronger and better."

Meaghan, 17, daughter of Mary and Timothy Grotz, has cystic fibrosis, which degenerates the lungs, and was on oxygen 24 hours a day.

She was evaluated for a transplant last winter and placed high on the list of potential recipients. A fund-raiser to offset the cost of the operation was held for her in June.

A senior, she has not been able to attend school this year because of her health, her uncle said. She has been tutored at home.

When a donor organ became available this week from an unidentified child who died in an accident, Meaghan and her parents were called and flew immediately to Pittsburgh.

"Another gentlemen got the heart," Drexelius noted. "This is really a story about organ donation awareness. People have to think about organ donation and do something in advance. Without it, she wouldn't have had a chance."

Drexelius said that messages for Meaghan can be sent via her fund-raising group's Web site at He said that updates on her condition also will be posted on the site soon.


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