In what has been hailed as a medical first, 32-year-old Melissa Benoit had both of her lungs taken out, and lived without them for nearly a week until she could get a transplant.
A team of 13 operating staff took part in the efforts to remove Mrs Benoit's organs in a procedure that took nine hours.
After the team finished removing the woman's lungs, they've placed her on life support.
After her lungs were removed, her condition stabilised and a pair of donor lungs became available six days later, at which point she received the transplant.
"But I'm just so grateful, so happy to be home", said Benoit.
"Things were so bad for so long, we needed something to go right", Chris said, "and this new procedure was the first piece of good news in a long time".
Surgeon Dr Shaf Keshavjee said: "We had to make a decision because Melissa was going to die that night. Melissa gave us the courage to go ahead", he said.
Melissa Benoit, then 32, was taken into Toronto General Hospital's medical surgical intensive care unit in April 2016.
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In a world-first, doctors removed both of her lungs - the source of bacterial infection - in a bid to save her life.
It wasn't until Benoit was eventually weaned off the ventilator about a month later that she realized what it meant to have new lungs, which are unaffected by the mutated gene that causes CF. One by one, her organs began shutting down.
For six days, Melissa lived without lungs as she waits for her donor.
Benoit was put in a medically-induced coma and was hooked up to two machines: A Novalung to essentially replace the lungs and an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (or ECMO) to keep the blood pumping. The doctors didn't know whether they could work long-term, or whether Benoit would succumb to infection or other complications from the tubes running in and out of her body.
According to the doctors involved, her condition had improved dramatically only hours after the procedure - and ultimately donor lungs were found in late December. "I want to hear Olivia's voice, play with her and read her stories".
Keshavjee, the surgeon, told The Washington Post this week that doctors saw positive signs nearly immediately, though that was the most nerve-racking time for him.
Melissa remains on kidney dialysis, but is now able to play with her young daughter "for whole days" without getting exhausted and his not needed a walker or cane for a month.
Lying in a hospital bed, she had become weak and couldn't even lift her head, stand or even sit up; but a month after the operation she was able to walk without the support of a walker or cane. Another device helped her heart circulate the oxygen-rich blood throughout her body. She has not needed a walker or cane for the past month and can play with her daughter Olivia for whole days without getting exhausted.