Baby girl born with 'half a heart' gets early birthday gift in form of new heart and life-saving surgery
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE: Ja'Mia McFarland was born with half heart. But miraculously, beating all odds, she had a successful heart transplant surgery, just two weeks before she celebrates her first birthday on planet Earth. The baby woke with a having a healthy heart and a microphone in her hand to record her first reaction. After nearly six months of waiting for a donor, little Ja’Mia received her new heart at Lebonheur Children's Hospital
Ja'Mia was on the transplant list but doctors were not sure she would find a match as she struggled on with half a heart. She finally received the gift of a lifetime and her mother and the health care providers are thankful for this blessing. Her mother, Laverne Webb, said, “I’m happy she gets a chance to live a normal life. It’s exciting because it’s like a birthday present to her."
According to WREG News Channel 3, Jenny Sterslsin, a nurse practitioner at Lebonheur Children's Hopital with a pediatric heart failure and transplant department told that about one in four thousand babies in the United States are born with a single ventricle instead of two, like Ja'Mia. This condition is often referred to as having "half a heart."
Laverne Webb, Ja'Mia's mother, has two other young boys. She learned Ja’Mia would be born with half a heart while she was still in the womb. “I was scared when I first found out because I thought she wasn’t going to make it when I had her,” she said. “I really appreciate the doctors and nurses for taking care of her and they have her so spoiled here,” Ja'Mia mother said thanking the hospital staff. Nurse Sterslin, who has been on the team taking care of the little girl, said, "She might still still be in the hospital but this baby gets to celebrate her first birthday and unfortunately a lot of children who didn't get to do that."
When asked by the reporter "how does being born with half a heart impact a child," Streslin answered, "when you have a baby that is born with congenital heart disease, you are expecting one ventricle to do the work of two ventricles or two pumping chambers and so we often see that fail"
"Ultimately she would have died on the waiting list," said Streslin but the heart transplant came right on time. Fortunately, Ja’Mia’s first birthday party is to be held at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital on Saturday, Sept 17. Ja'Mia's family is from Blytheville and as medical expenses added up, the family started a GoFundMe to help with the recovery costs.