Kansas City,
11:34 AM

KSN: Wichita toddler enjoying life with new heart

By Carly Willis

For a 2 year old, Grace Venneman knows more about hearts than most her age.

The playful toddler points to mother Laura Venneman’s chest.

“Mama heart.”

Laura responds, “Yep, mama’s heart, Grace’s heart,” pointing back at Grace’s chest.

Grace was born a healthy, full-term baby in August 2018. It wasn’t until her eight-week checkup that her pediatrician raised concern that Grace wasn’t growing at the rate she needed to.

In November 2018, Grace was admitted to the hospital and upon an X-ray, it was discovered she had an enlarged heart.

The family was transported to Children’s Mercy in Kansas City. Grace was diagnosed with “ALCAPA” (anomalous left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery), a one in 300,000 heart defect that is not genetic.

Her heart team discovered she had severe stenosis coronary artery.

By March 2019, Grace was put on a transplant list.

The family waited five months for a donor heart to become available.

Now, Grace is an active girl who loves horses and playing with big sister, Kaydence. The family largely stays home to protect Grace’s delicate immune system.

Grace was the featured guest of the American Heart Association - Kansas Heart Ball this February.


See the full story via KSN

Learn more about The Ward Family Heart Center at Children's Mercy