Matisse Reid is back at school in the United States, five months after a double organ transplant.
It's been a long wait for the 10-year-old Napier girl, who was unable to return to her Pittsburgh school because her ill health, medication and suppressed immune system meant it was too dangerous for her to attend, especially during the winter months.
But Matisse had a new-found energy that her mother Jodee said the family had never seen before.
"She is bouncing off the walls, no longer happy to sit and do artwork like she has her entire life," Mrs Reid wrote online. "For the first time in her life she wants to get outside and run and play."
It was even more difficult when Matisse's home-school teacher arrived when other kids were playing outside.
Mrs Reid said Matisse was delighted to go back to school yesterday.
"She was giggling all morning. I said goodbye to her and wished her a great first day back. She replied 'and this will be the first day ever that you do not have to come to school to give me my meds'."
Mrs Reid said with the American school year close to ending, the family had wondered if it was worth Matisse returning.
The transplant team at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh reassured them that school could help Matisse's recovery and said burning off the extra energy could encourage her to eat more.
Part of the decision rested with the death of a friend, another transplant child from Australia.
"Life really is what you make it," Mrs Reid said. "It is this mindset that helped us come to the conclusion which saw Matisse at her happiest since before the transplant ... We do not know what tomorrow may bring, but today my girl is happy."