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Holly Navolt, 20, fought cystic fibrosis

After a long struggle with cystic fibrosis, Los Osos resident Holly Navolt died early Christmas morning at the age of 20.

Navolt suffered since infancy from the disease, which causes thick mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive tract. Her lungs were functioning at 38 percent of normal capacity before she received a double-lung transplant in May 2010.

The Tribune chronicled Navolt’s rush to receive the transplant, from which she made a remarkable recovery. But weeks later, the then-18-year-old’s body stopped responding to antibiotics to prevent tissue rejection, and she went into respiratory failure.

The months after became a battle with chronic lung rejection, the family said in an email announcing her death.

The family wrote: “Holly’s family is sad for their loss but happy that Holly is in a much better place and no longer dealing with her struggle to just live. The family would also really like to thank the community for their continued love and support over the past couple of years — without it, Holly would not (have) received her transplant and she may not (have) even had this past year and a half that she did.”

The Holly Navolt Memorial Fund has been set up at Rabobank to assist the family with funeral expenses. Remaining funds will be used to create a nonprofit in Navolt’s honor to help local youth needing transplants.

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