Victoria Chakwin was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis when she was 11.
At age 17, the high school senior from Martinsburg, W.Va. went into pulmonary failure and her lungs became starved for air, according to WJLA.
Doctors, desperate for something that would keep the disease at bay, hooked Chakwin up to a machine that oxygenates blood and "then pumps it back into the body," the station reports.
According to CBS Baltimore, though the machine bought the doctors time while they looked for new lungs for Chakwin, the machine also made it less likely that the transplant would be successful since, "a patient needs to be put into a mild coma while the machine is connected, the muscles a patient needs to breathe on their own atrophy."
Despite these odds, the transplant was successful and Chakwin is now well enough to attend her prom.
With a new pair of lungs, Chakwin is looking forward to the future, according to TODAY.
“Now I have the whole world ahead of me," she said.