Family offers thanks for life

TRIABUNNA’S Montana Marshall is almost home having recently had a second double lung transplant at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital.

The bubbly and brave 14 years old was discharged late last month, but is now being monitored at the Royal Hobart Hospital and hoping to be able to get back to the east coast as soon as possible.

Montana’s  mum Anna, dad Michael and three sisters have been in Melbourne since June but it’s not the first time the teenager has had a big fight on her hands.

Just two years ago, Montana was flow by medivac to Victoria for her first double lung transplant, which sadly after 18 months her body rejected.

Grandmother Susan Marshall said friends, family, strangers and the broader community had been very supportive.

“This has been a huge struggle for the whole family, it’s been very disruptive and incredibly stressful,’’ Mrs Marshall said.

“Anna had to give up her job, the bills keep coming in and medications aren’t cheap.’’

The Triabunna Rotary Club has been a major fundraiser for the family.

Along with generous supporters, Montana’s has been doing her bit to help out the family as well.

Prosser MLC Jane Howlett said when she first heard of Montana’s situation she was happy to help.

Montana Marshall shows Prosser MLC Jane Howlett some of the bows she made while in hospital.

“There is no doubting this young girl’s strength, determination and sheer optimism, even in such dire circumstances,’’ Ms Howlett said.

Ms Howlett provided financial assistance, including towards the purchase of a machine, so Montana could make her hair scrunches and bows, to raise money to support her family.

Her hospital room is a pop-up arts and craft store, where she makes hair scrunchies, jewellery, candles and more.

Throughout her time in hospital Montana has also kept up with her school work and hopes to return to Triabunna District soon.

“The doctors say this set of lungs is a perfect fit for Montana and we are just so incredibly thankful to the two families who donated, without them, we would have Montana,’’ Mrs Marshall said.

“It would have been such a difficult decision to make, at such a terrible time, but it is so important.’’

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