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Teen enjoys new freedom away from hospital room

A 15-year-old Sontag teenager recovering from a double lung andliver transplant continues to show improvement and has beenreleased from St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Brandi Cobb, 15, the daughter of Samuel “Sammy” and Paula Cobb,has suffered from Cystic Fibrosis since birth and was nearing theend of her disease when the donor organs became available, Paulasaid. The transplant was done Sept. 9.

Since then, Brandi has been recovering pretty rapidly given theseverity of the transplant, Paula said, and she was released fromthe hospital on Oct. 3.

Brandi joined her parents at the Ronald McDonald House, whereher parents have been staying for more than a year while awaitingthe organs and transplant operation.

“We’ll have to stay here until mid-December,” Paula said, so thedoctors can continue to monitor her progress and be availableshould something unforeseen occur during her recovery.

In the meantime, Paula said, Brandi is enjoying her newfoundfreedom.

“She’s eating like crazy, and she’s gained four pounds in thetwo weeks since we’ve been out,” she said.

Paula said that before the transplant eating was a chore forBrandi, and they had trouble maintaining her weight, let alonegetting her to gain weight.

Brandi’s physical therapy has also been progressing very well,according to her mother. After the transplant, she was walking onthe treadmill for about eight minutes. Now, Paula said, she walkedfor 20 minutes Friday at an increased speed.

The treadmill and physical therapy are not her only means ofexercise, however. While Brandi was in the hospital they did verylittle sight-seeing, but now they have trouble keeping Brandi athome.

“She still has a lot of recovering to do, but already she’sdoing a lot more than she was before the transplant,” Paula said.”She refuses to use the wheelchair now.”

Paula said the family is planning a trip to the St. Louis Zoolater this week.

Brandi has been an inspiration to them all throughout her ideal,her mother said.

“She has never lost her spunk,” Paula said. “She has always beenpositive and sure things would work out for the best.”

Brandi loves to hear from her friends and neighbors back homeand urges anyone interested to log into her website atwww.caringbridge.com/page/brandicobb to post messages and sign theguestbook.