Tallahassee Woman Home after Life-Saving Lung Transplant

By Julie Montanaro
March 12, 2015

A Tallahassee woman who received a double lung transplant is now back home.

When we first told you about Jessica Rossman she was on a waiting list and her one prayer was to be able to play in the park with her little

Today we were there to share that wish come true.

"I've been alive for 25 years but it's like the first time I'm living it feels like. I'm loving it and enjoying every minute of it," Rossman said as she and her four year old son played on the playground at San Luis Park.

Just six months ago Jessica Rossman was fighting for her life after battling her whole life to breathe.

Cystic Fibrosis had sidelined this young mother. A trip to the mailbox at the end of the driveway was exhausting. Her days were filled with oxygen tanks, breathing treatments and trips to the emergency room.

"It's kind of like sitting at your house looking out through a window and just watching everything pass by , not being able to do anything with it," Rossman said.

Jessica spent more than a year on the waiting list for a lung transplant, then she got the call and the lifesaving surgery in October 2014.

Her mother will never forget the first moment she saw Jessica after the eight hour surgery was over.

"I honestly could not even look at her face," her mother Jackie Morrison said. "I focused in on her chest and the tears started streaming down and the thing was, she was not struggling to breathe."

Jessica can now take her four year old son Ryan just about anywhere.

She'll be monitored and medicated for the rest of her life, but is forever grateful a young woman and her family - somewhere -
have given her this chance.

"Her (the donor) life was over and she gave me a second chance, so I think about her all the time and hope to meet her family
... no one could give a better gift to someone," Rossman said.

"I want to just enjoy life for once, and I hope I can make my donor proud."

Jessica Rossman calls her doctors at Shands Hospital lifesavers and encourages everyone to consider becoming an organ donor.

By Julie Montanaro
October 15, 2014

A Tallahassee woman is recovering after a life-saving lung transplant last night.

Jessica Morrison Rossman has been on the waiting list for a lung transplant for more than a year. She's been fighting cystic fibrosis since she was born and has been critically ill.

Her mother tells us they got word Monday that there was a pair of lungs for her and Jessica got a double lung transplant during an eight hour surgery at Shands Hospital in Gainesville yesterday.

She is hoping to take her first breath on her own tomorrow.

"Oh my gosh. The words are indescribable right now," her mother Jackie Morrison said. "She has struggled for so long being on oxygen that I just can not imagine what it would be like for her, but I know that as her parents and her sister we'll be right there watching. It's going to be amazing."

The family calls the lung transplant a "miracle" but says it is also grieving for the family of the young woman who died and donated them.

The Morrison's say Jessica's greatest hope is to be able to run in the park with her three year old son one day.

By: Julie Montanaro
October 4, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - A Tallahassee woman is now awaiting a lung transplant, hoping any day will be the day she gets that call.

Jessica Morrison Rossman and her family are counting a 5K run this weekend to help them put a small dent in what is expected to be a six figure bill for the transplant and the medicine she will need afterward.

Jessica Morrison Rossman still tries to play ball with her two year old son Ryan, but she can't play for long. She is on oxygen 24-7 these days.

Cystic fibrosis fills her lungs with mucous and it's a struggle to breathe, but Jessica has new hope after finding out this summer she is now on the approved list for a lung transplant.

'"For me it means oh gosh the world to me. it will change my life completely so I'll be able to do things I've never been able to do," Morrison-Rossman said, "like take my son to the park."

Jessica, who is 23 years old, finds herself in the hospital every few months now with a wracking cough, shortness of breath and plummeting oxygen levels.

She was diagnosed with CF when she was an infant. We first met her when she was 12.

Her mother ... then and now ... chokes back tears as she talks about their faith ... and the wait for a transplant.

"When they first told us it was time, it was very emotional and as a mom and I can say this for her dad too, it is scary. I mean ... but we know there's no other option," Jackie Morrison said.

The Morrisons are now waiting for a call to get in the car and head for Shands for new lungs and what they hope will be a new lease on life for her and her son.

"He doesn't know I don't think what it'll do for me in his future, but I do. That's definitely my biggest reason is I want to be in his future," Morrison Rossman said.

Tropical Storm Karen is no match for Jessica and her family. The family's church Seminole Baptist is hosting a 5-k "Run for Jess" this weekend. It will go on rain or shine. It's at Tom Brown Park Sunday at 4:30.

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