Once Barely Able to Breathe, Lung-Transplant Patient Nae Naes Her Way Out of the Hospital

A caregiver helps an elderly patient in their home.
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For nearly a decade, severe lung disease made it extremely difficult for Debra Morgan to breathe. It also kept her away from one of her favorite activities dancing.


After Morgan received a new set of lungs at Florida Hospital several weeks ago, the vivacious 60-year-old set a goal: to shake and groove before she returned home.


This week, dozens of nurses, physicians and members of Morgans care team helped make that dream a reality by breaking out into popular Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae).


The innovative physical therapy session, made even more memorable by a surprise visit from Morgans daughter and granddaughter, brought laughter and tears.


I can breathe and dance. I could never do that, Morgan said. Its been a wonderful day.


Morgan, who suffers from pulmonary fibrosis and had become dependent on an oxygen tank to help her breathe, underwent a double lung transplant at Florida Hospital Orlando on Jan. 30.


In the days after the surgery, Morgan said she had a talk with her new lungs.


For your family and mine, let's do this, she recalls saying. We have lives to live and we're going to make a difference in this world.


That difference would begin with Morgan proving she could dance once again. One of her granddaughters suggested Watch Me, and Morgan started practicing the whip/nae nae in her hospital bed.


She recruited her physicians and medical team, and they joyfully joined Morgan to make her dream come true.


It's a wonderful gift, just being able to dance, said Dr. Cynthia Gries, medical director of Florida Hospitals lung transplant program. That's amazing.


To watch video of Morgans debut with the clinical team, go to: https://youtu.be/1IjYsYT6KmQ

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