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WIBW: "I'm gonna get a new heart soon."

Elijah at Baseball

By Melissa Brunner

Elijah appears to be a typical seven-year-old when he hits the playground with his sister, Kinley.

But behind the smile, lies determination and a lot of heart - even if part of Elijah’s heart is missing.

“Elijah was born with a congenital heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome, so essentially the left ventricle was severely underdeveloped,” Ali Diaz explained.

Elijah underwent his first open heart surgery when he was just three days old. Dr. Brian Birnbaum, a pediatric cardiologist at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, is one of Elijah’s doctors.

“All of us have the left side of our heart that pumps blood to the body, and the right side of the heart pumps to the lungs, and Elijah really wasn’t born with the left side of his heart,” he said.

Dr. Birnbaum says typical treatment is a series of three surgeries. Elijah had the first two, but his body hasn’t responded the way it’s needed to for the third.

It leaves the family with one option.

“I’m gonna get a new heart soon,” Elijah said.


Read the full article via WIBW

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