Five Feet Apart Questions and Answers
by Rachael Lippincott

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Does Will get a new pair of lungs?

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Steph Müller eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Unfortunately not. At the end of this lovely novel, Will is still struggling with his cystic fibrosis, and has not received a new set of lungs. Stella, however, does receive her life-saving lung transplant during the course of the story.

Will and Stella meet as two teens who have been hospitalised as a result of their ongoing struggle with cystic fibrosis. Both are in dire need of a lung transplant, and while initially Stella can't stand Will, they slowly become friends and their friendship blossoms into romance.

Will's cystic fibrosis is further complicated by the fact that he has also been diagnosed with B. cepacia, which adds extra strain on his lungs on top of the cystic fibrosis. Unfortunately, the B. cepacia means that Will is not a candidate for a lung transplant, because the antibiotic-resistant bacteria inside him will make it too likely for his body to reject the new lungs. Even though Will's condition seems terminal, his mother is determined to find a way around the prognosis, and as the novel progresses, Will develops the same desire to fight his illness with all his strength.

The last scene of this book takes place in an airport, where Will and Stella bump into each other some time after Stella has had her surgery and Will has ended their romance to give her the best chance at a healthy future. Will still has "portable oxygen slung over his shoulder" at this meeting, which tells us that he has not received new lungs.

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