Like many teenage girls, Zoe Smith had fantasised about making her debut and for the past three years had set about making plans which included asking her best male friend to partner her.
It seemed such a simple dream but one that Zoe and her family were unsure as to whether it would be fulfilled.
Late last year the Free Press shared the 16-year-old’s journey that involved a liver transplant and now, nine months on, the Corowa teenager is living out her dreams which included attending a debutante ball with one of her best friends, Matt Dutton.
Mum Jodie said her daughter was thrilled to have the day finally arrive.
“She had been counting down to this day for so many years, she actually picked her deb partner three years ago which was her best friend,” Jodie said.
“She chose Matt and it was perfect, just amazing.”
Zoe knew in her mind what she wanted her dress to look like and had it made in Thurgoona.
“She knew what she wanted and we had it made specially and nothing was spared,” Jodie said.
“It was a great night, the people who arranged it were amazing and I think it was the best ball I have ever been to.”
It’s a great milestone for Zoe, considering just last year she was on a donor list waiting for a liver to become available to give her another chance at life.
Zoe recently had her nine-month post transplant check-up and started her transition for her upcoming move out of the Royal Children’s Hospital for when she turns 18.
This involved learning to look after her own medication and checking her health records.
There are up to 50 tablets that Zoe must take every day to keep her healthy and stop her body from rejecting her new liver.
The hope is that within several more months the medication will drop to just one tablet twice a day for the rest of her life.
Zoe’s next visit to hospital will be her one-year post transplant check-up.
The ambitious teenager has also achieved another goal, returning to school at the end of last year.
“She attended the last couple of days of term four and caught up with all of her friends and now she has started back full-time this year in Year 11,” Jodie said.
“She is finding it a little hard because she has missed out on a lot of school, but she is trying her hardest and that’s all we expect.
“She has settled in really well and is giving it a go and, as I said, that’s all we ask.”
Sport had never been on Zoe’s mind for much of her life because of her health ordeal but her family and others close to her knew she had a long-term goal to take up netball.
Zoe fulfilled this aim after playing her first game for the Wahgunyah Lions Football Netball Club in the under 18s recently.
Those who would like to continue following Zoe’s journey can do so on Facebook by following the page: Zoe tamzyns journey.