A double lung transplant and heroic friends in Edgewood

An Edgewood restaurant manager jumped to help one of her longtime employees, going above and beyond in an act of heroism. That’s according to Antonio Diaz, whose daughter Christian Marroquín just got a lung transplant.

Diaz said Christian has “waited 30 years” for the transplant, outliving her identical twin sister, who died at age 18. Both lived with Cystic Fibrosis, a “progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time,” according to the website for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

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Christian was down to 18 percent lung function, Diaz said, when she got the call that a pair of lungs was waiting for her in California. Within hours she was in the air with her mother, and got both lungs replaced July 25. He said his daughter is “doing fantastic,” calling the surgery “a giant miracle.”

Her treatment includes three months of twice-weekly appointments to make sure her body doesn’t reject the transplant, Diaz said. With rent of a one-bedroom apartment at $1,600, with first month, last month, and a security deposit of the same amount required up front, the cost is taxing the family’s ability to cover it.

Right after the parade for Edgewood’s Run, Rally & Rock celebration Aug. 5, Denny’s manager Maggie Apodaca and assistant manager Tim Lundy jumped into Rosemarie Marroquín’s car and drove it to California so she would have transportation, getting back home to Edgewood for a few hours sleep before going straight back to work.

“There are heroes among us,” Diaz said. “Do you know anybody who will do that? They knew she needed her car and they just took it to her. We’ve got heroes in Edgewood.”

Apodaca got permission from Denny’s to host a special dinner Aug. 28 from 5 to 7 p.m., when for $10 a plate, visitors will be treated to a Mexican food menu. All of that money will go to the family to help pay for basic living expenses during Christian’s post-operative treatment.

Diaz said his daughter has now walked up her first hill, and gotten enough exercise to make her legs sore, and is thrilled by that. She had been on oxygen around the clock and was “deteriorating fast,” but in spite of that is “the most upbeat, incredible person I’ve ever met. She’s always happy, always smiling.

The family has not created any kind of crowdfunding campaign, but to help Christian directly, contact Diaz at 505-228-8956.