She was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis - a degenerative and deadly lung disease - when she was only three months old, but that never stopped Tara and she always lived her life to the fullest. She finally received a double-lung transplant on New Year's Day - and although the road to recovery has been incredibly challenging, she has never wavered in her determination to get her life back. This is her story.

"I've been incredibly fortunate to have been able to do so much during my life, even with the burden of CF (cystic fibrosis)" Tara shared. "I did all the normal kid things, grew up, played soccer in college, got a BS in Math, and oh yeah! I met my husband on the UC Davis double-decker bus - he was the driver and I was the conductor. We saw each other in the mirror, went on a date and well, the rest is history as they say!"

"This year will be our 15th Anniversary," Tara said as she looked lovingly at the pictures of her family on the wall in her room. "We have two beautiful children - twins - brother and sister, and yes, I carried them full term and they are as healthy as can be. I worked full time after I graduated from UC Davis until halfway through my pregnancy - my CF had progressed to the point where I wasn't able to keep up, so I went out on disability and then after giving birth became a stay-at-home mom to raise our kids."


Tara then spoke about how her disease continued to progress until she developed acute respiratory failure.

"I was finally listed for a double-lung transplant in March of 2015, at 39 years of age. My birth lungs were too scarred and getting worse, and so began the waiting process and a couple of "dry runs" - when I would get a call to come to Stanford for my transplant but the operation was called off. The first time was because the donor's lungs weren't found to be quite right, and the second because I developed a fever just before the call came in."

Then, on New Year's Eve, Tara got the call to come to Stanford.

"The third time's a charm, right? My transplant took place on New Year's Day at 2 AM in the morning, but unfortunately for me everything that could go wrong, did. I was very sick for 16 days after the operation. I had internal bleeding, my kidneys shut down so I needed dialysis, and I was unable to breathe so I was placed on a ventilator with a tracheotomy. Not quite what I expected!"

After her medical team at Stanford exhausted all their options, Tara said it was decided that she needed to go to a specialized hospital to wean her from her dependency on the ventilator.

"And this is how I came to be at Kindred Hospital. I arrived on April 18th, and the team here have really been amazing - everyone - from housekeeping to the doctors and all the great people on the respiratory team - they have worked wonders with me. I especially have high regard for the rehab team led by Patty - she is just a firecracker, and so inspiring!"

"There are two things about my story that are really miraculous - the first is my donor, without her gift I wouldn't be here today. And secondly, all the people who have worked tirelessly for months to help me recover. I haven't been home since December and I just saw my kids for the first time in months last weekend… I am relieved that I will be discharged to home care this week and hope that this chapter of my story is finally coming to close so I can get back to living life, and being a mom again."

All of us at Kindred Hospital are with you, Tara! You are an incredible inspiration and we wish you a full recovery and renewed health.