Not too long ago we told you about Layla. For those who may have missed it, here’s a quick recap: Layla is a ten-year-old girl who is constantly smiling, enjoys singing and dancing, and has spent most of her life facing incredible challenges. She was born with a congenital heart defect and has already, in such a short time, undergone numerous complicated surgical procedures, including heart transplants. You can learn more about Layla’s story here. 

While Layla looked to finally be on her way to a normal, healthy and happy childhood, in 2016 she was diagnosed with a coronary artery disease specific to transplant patients that, sadly, has no cure. In light of this diagnosis, Layla and her family had to prepare for another heart transplant – a risky procedures that only two hospitals even agreed to pursue. 

When we heard Layla’s story and learned that she and her family would need to relocate to Virginia for at least one year to follow her original cardiologist, we knew they needed outside support to get through this difficult time.

We reached out to you and asked for donations to help ease some of the burden for Layla’s family. The combination of extreme health care expenses and having to move their family to Virginia left them with additional expenses that would be crippling for the vast majority of families. We asked and once again, you answered with donations and support that directly benefitted Layla and her family. Below is a letter we received from Layla’s mom and we are beyond overjoyed to learn that Layla is back on the road to recovery – albeit a long and difficult one. 

As #givingtuesday approaches along with the holidays and new year, we hope your season is full of ample joy and health, love and laughter, but also an appreciation for the things that are right and well in your lives. We know that Layla and her family will be particularly grateful for the holiday together and we are happy for the small role we were able to play in their road to an even happier and healthier future. 

If you know of another family or individual that could use support from their community, please reach out to us and let us know how we can help. Our community grows stronger the more we work to support those within it to achieve great things and overcome tremendous challenge. 

“Layla got her new heart on September 21st.  The surgery took 12 hours but everything went very well.  She recovered in the PICU for less than a week and then was moved over to the Cardiac unit. Her doctors said they’d never seen a kid recover so well so quickly.  It took a little bit of time to find the best method to deal with her pain and figure out the right dosing for her medications. After 5 and a half months in the hospital, Layla was finally discharged on October 20th. She has a lot of appts with cardiology, OT, PT, her school teacher, infusions and cath and biopsies.  So far all of her biopsies have come back with zero rejection! I am working on getting a home bound teacher for her and she might return to school in the new year.  We are staying close to the hospital at a place called The Alyssa House, a charity house for immunosuppressed kids. We will be there for 2 months and then find a place to rent. She recently had a port placed to avoid getting so many IV and blood work sticks. Layla is doing really great and we are so happy to have her “home” with us.  I want to thank you and all the donors so much for your help. It really means the world to our family! Hope you are doing well.”

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