In September of 2011, Emma was only 10 months old when she was diagnosed with Restrictive Cardiomyopathy. The only symptoms she was showing was sweating while she would drink her bottle and lack of energy. Restrictive Cardiomyopathy is a rare disease that cause the heart muscle to become rigid and prevents the heart form pumping properly.
The family will never forget their first visit to Children's Memorial when the doctors diagnosed her and explained there was no options for her besides a heart transplant. Over the subsequent 6 months they had many visits with different doctors and nurses at Children's Memorial Hospital and they were all wonderful.
On March 6th, 2012 Emma was at the hospital for labs to see if she was ABO compatible, meaning she can accept a donor heart from any blood type. On March 7th, she received lab results that she was compatible. The same night they received a call from the hospital that they had a possible donor and proceed to the hospital immediately. Still in a state of shock, they got to the hospital but it wasn't until the next morning when she was prepped for surgery. Surgery was successful and she was a transplanted with a new heart different than her own blood type, two days later she was sitting up and playing with her toys and two weeks later they were in Kohl's House with a little more freedom. One more week and she was able to return home with her big sister!
Emma was given a second chance at life and the family is grateful to a family that made a selfless decision to give during their darkest time. They are also thankful to the doctors and nurses at Children's Memorial Hospital.
Emma was 3 years old at the time she went to Disney and is doing amazing. She has no restrictions and you would never know she had a heart transplant. She loves playing outdoors, Princesses (especially Elsa from Frozen), flowers, bubbles and balloons and is inseparable from her sister.