Hope for Hannah rewarded

Published 7:35 pm Friday, July 26, 2019

Prayers for Hannah Goetz have been answered. The 2019 graduate of Smithfield High School graduate received a double-lung transplant on Friday in a Fairfax County hospital. In addition to a Go Fund Me page, a fundraiser is also taking place at the WIndsor Dairy Queen from 6 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, July 31. — Submitted Jennifer Stepp

Smithfield High graduate receives lung transplant


Prayers for Hannah Goetz were answered late Thursday night when she was taken into surgery at a Fairfax County hospital. As of this writing on Friday afternoon, the 2019 Smithfield High School graduate is recuperating following several hours of surgery for a much-needed transplant of lungs. Before that, Hannah had reportedly been on a special machine that provided oxygen because her own lungs had to be removed due to a severe pneumonia infection.

When she was about 10 years old, Hannah became afflicted with cystic fibrosis, which according to www.cff.org, is “a progressive genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breath over time.” Mucus develops and clogs the lung’s airways, which not only limits the amount of oxygen, but also enables infection-causing bacteria to develop.

Hannah’s mother, Holly Goetz, teaches at Windsor Elementary School. She’s also a member at Anytime Fitness in Windsor, where Jennifer Stepp is manager.

“She’s like family to us here,” she said of Holly and, by obvious extension, Hannah.

Stepp confirmed earlier on Friday morning that the girl had gone in “super late last night” for the operation, which lasted until the morning. The patient had been at the top of the list for a pair of lungs. Those came in on Thursday.

“It’s all literally just a miracle,” said Stepp, who also stated that Hannah had been “fighting for her life.”

There will be a few months of physical therapy to follow, and though the lungs are compatible and the proper size for Hannah, anti-rejection drugs will still become necessary.

For the sake of the donor’s privacy, the identity is unknown, but Stepp said that the Goetz’s might be given the name after a year, presuming the family wishes to be identified.

Meanwhile, to help the family with expenses, the Team Hope for Hannah has arranged a fundraiser at the Windsor Dairy Queen, which will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, July 31. A percentage of all meals purchased will go toward the costs. Donations will also be accepted that evening.