Twelve-year-old Marius Schneider was only a child when he was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, a life-threatening condition in which sticky mucus builds up in the lungs, gradually decreasing one's ability to breathe.
“We were desperately waiting for an organ, waiting for a call every day,” said Lars Schneider, Marius' father.
But as the days stretched on without a lung donor, Marius, who lives in Germany, was in so dire a spot that he survived only with the continual aid of a ventilation machine and a heart-lung machine, the Daily Mail reports. "He was living in a state of almost perpetual anesthesia," said Marius's physician, Professor Dr Axel Haverich.
Left with no other option, the boy's parents decided to each donate one of their lungs to their son. According to The Local, it "was immediately clear" the couple would gladly give up half their lungs.
Fortunately for Marius, both his parents had a compatible blood type, and their lungs were large enough for the transplant to occur. Doctors operated on all three of the family members in April. Marcis has now almost fully recovered.
Living lung transplants are an extremely rare procedure, performed only as a last resort. The German Mission notes this surgery was the first living lung transplant ever performed in Germany.
Also on HuffPost:
Olive Rutowski, Born At 23 Weeks
Olive was born prematurely at just 23 weeks and after several medical complications, was finally sent home from the hospital in time for her first birthday. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/17/olive-rutkowski-miracle-baby_n_1797485.html" target="_hplink"> <em>How Olive was finally able to be reunited with her mom. </em></a>
Luz Milagros Veron, Once Sent To The Morgue
Luz Milagros Veron was born three months prematurely and doctors said she showed no signs of life. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/09/luz-milagros-veron-morgue_n_1761905.html" target="_hplink"><em>What her parents did to save her. </em></a>
Cohan Jones, One Pound At Birth
Doctors told Cohan's mom, Alex, that her daughter would be stillborn. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/04/uk-mom-stillborn-baby-alive_n_1647737.html" target="_hplink"><em>What happened when Cohan was delivered. </em></a>
Adam Cheshire, Born With Meningitis
When Adam was born, he was placed in a medical coma and doctors told his parents to prepare for the worst. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/26/adam-cheshire-meningitis-_n_1706529.html?utm_hp_ref=parents-babies" target="_hplink">Mom's miraculous act revived her son.</a>
Kenna Moore, Born Smaller Than A Soda Can
Kenna was born 24 weeks into her mother's pregnancy and weighed only 9.6 ounces. <em><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/12/kenna-moore-tiny-baby-home-from-hospital_n_1668107.html?utm_hp_ref=parents-babies" target="_hplink">What mom explained in her book. </a></em>
Ashlynn Flores, Stopped Breathing At 3 Months
One night, Ashlynn stopped breathing while her mom, Ashley, was feeding her. <em><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/22/ashley-sanchez-mom-saves-baby_n_1536670.html?utm_hp_ref=parents-babies" target="_hplink">How Ashley saved her daughter and doctors called her a hero.</a> </em>
Nicholas And Alexander Bolden, Born After Mom Stays On Respirator For A Month
Mom, Christine Bolden was brain dead from aneurysms, but doctors kept her on a respirator for a month so that her twins could develop. They were born prematurely at 25 weeks. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/23/nicholas-and-alexander-bolden_n_1446588.html" target="_hplink"><em>Christine didn't survive, but relatives said they'll "have something of hers."</em></a>
Ayden Vargas, Born To Kidney Transplant Recipient
Nilda Vargas learned that her kidneys were failing and was put on dialysis in 2008. Her disease meant she had a very small chance of becoming a mom. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/03/nilda-vargas-kidney-recipient_n_1181256.html" target="_hplink"><em>Family member donated kidney and Nilda gave birth in 2012.</em></a>
Harris Telfer, Born To Cancer Survivor
Madeleine Telfer beat cancer twice, but doctors told her she was infertile because of her treatment. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/01/madeleine-telfer-leukemia_n_1247563.html" target="_hplink"><em>She found out she was pregnant two later. </em></a>
Jamie Ogg, Pronounced Dead At Birth
Kate Ogg their delivered her son prematurely at 27 weeks. He was pronounced dead and his parents kissed him goodbye <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/09/jamie-ogg-back-to-life_n_1333297.html" target="_hplink"><em>Five minutes later, something miraculous happened. </em></a>