16-year-old Zei Uwadia of Wichita, Kansas has been on life support since November, reports CNN. She remains in Mercy Hospital Kansas City where an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine (an ECMO)- one of the most powerful forms of life support- has breathed for her for more than 130 days.
Uwadia’s condition is unique- so unique, in fact, that the doctor’s aren’t completely sure what is wrong with her. One day, she was going to school and doing everything that an average teenager would do, and then suddenly her breathing faltered and started to get worse and worse.
After going to the emergency room for her breathing difficulty, Uwadia’s lab tests confirmed no signs of a bacterial infection. Her greatest concern, reports Dr. Jenna Miller of Mercy, has been “oxygenation, and so her oxygen levels have been low and remain her biggest problem.”
Both of the patient’s lungs were affected and became deflated. As of recently, her left lung has expanded but he right lung has yet to get to that state.
Perhaps most miraculous is Uwadia’s recent feat, which has not been accomplished be many: walking on life support.
According to Fox 8, the 16-year-old is the first patient of the hospital to sit up or walk while on the machine, and is one of only a handful in history.
Zei Uwadia has made her way to Mercy’s chapel, eaten tacos, and gotten a manicure throughout her time there.
The average survival rate for children put onto this type of life support is 72% so, especially given Uwadia’s accomplishments, her doctors and family remain hopeful.