Tricia was discharged around 3pm today. No chest tubes and only one IV medication every eight hours give her a real sense of freedom. She is still receiving humidified air via an oxygen concentrator when she's at rest, but only to keep her new lungs nice and wet. Sometime in the next few weeks, her doctor will remove her trach and the more than 100 staples that helped close her chest incision.
Thus begins stage two of the transplant recovery. She'll relax for the weekend at the hotel (four laps around the parking lot gets her mile walk in, we discovered tonight) and then back to the grind at Duke's Center For Living on Monday for about five weeks of rehab. Her biggest goals right now are to strengthen her breathing and add some weight (and avoid infection and rejection). Tricia has now lost well over 60 pounds in the past 18 months and is as thin as I've ever seen her, including during her first transplant. She's got a long, hard road ahead of her to get back to where she is feeling healthy, but if anybody can do it, she can.