KENNEWICK -- Alicia Foss sat in a chair in the living room of her Kennewick home, surrounded by family and friends.
She spotted her dad across the room and raised her voice to get his attention. "Hey Dad, there's no hose!" she exclaimed, pointing to the clutter-free floor.
Jim Foss flashed a wide smile. Several months ago, his daughter needed a wheelchair to get around and oxygen tanks to help her breath. The floor of their home was a carpeted with hoses and tubes.
But Alicia, 28, had a double lung transplant this spring in Seattle. She returned to the Tri-Cities on Sunday, greeted by a crowd of about 40 loved ones.
They cheered as the family's car pulled into the driveway, shouting "They're here!" and "Welcome home!" Several wiped away tears as Alicia walked -- unassisted -- from the passenger seat to the front door.
It was a long journey to that moment.
When Alicia was a baby, her lungs were damaged while she was undergoing treatment for leukemia. By 2006, the damage had worsened to the point where she qualified for a transplant.
Then the waiting began. A few years ago, the family got a call that donor lungs were available. Alicia traveled to the hospital for surgery, but the lungs weren't a match.
A few months ago, the call came again -- and this time it was no false start. Alicia had her transplant in April at the University of Washington Medical Center.
"For the last four years, I've been a wheelchair," she said Sunday, standing on her front steps in a shirt that read, "A lung transplant saved my life."
"It's still sinking in," she said. "I wake up and remember that I had my surgery. It actually happened."
The Kennewick woman said she's feeling good. She'll start physical therapy in the Tri-Cities soon and will make periodic trips back to Seattle for checkups.
"She's making such impressive progress," her dad said.
She's also making plans for the future. The family is headed to church camp next week. And next year, to celebrate 12 months post-transplant, they'll take a trip to Disneyland.
The relatives and friends gathered Sunday said they're grateful Alicia is home. They snapped photos as she stepped out of the car and waited patiently for the chance to give her a hug.
"We've missed her. The whole Tri-Cities has missed her. Everybody has been following her story," said uncle Larry Larson. His sister, Diane Foss, is Alicia's mom.
"It's just a blessing to have her home," said another uncle, Jerry Larson. "It's nice to see here without her oxygen and wheelchair. It's the start of her new life."