Kansas City,
09:09 AM

KMBC 9: New heart gives new life to Kansas teen

By Matt Evans

What began as an asthma attack and was first diagnosed as pneumonia, wound up being something much more serious for 14-year-old Lanayah Rivera.

Doctors in Wichita sent the Newton teen to Children's Mercy Hospital, where cardiologists diagnosed her with dilated cardiomyopathy. It is a disorder that causes the chambers of the heart to become enlarged and not pump effectively.

Within two months of that diagnosis, doctors told her she would need a new heart.

Within days of being placed on the transplant list, the call came, and Lanayah had a new heart.

Lanayah is still faced with a long road to recovery. Doctors said she will need constant checkups and a lifetime of medications after the surgery, but she's alive today thanks to the selfless act of her donor.

"All of our work depends on donors," said Dr. Nikki Singh, a pediatric cardiologist at Children's Mercy. "If we don't have enough donors out there, patients like Lanayah aren't going to have these normal lives that they can live that's fulfilling."


See the full story via KMBC 9

Learn more about the Heart Transplant Program at Children's Mercy