Atlanta toddler undergoes life-saving heart transplant

A 2-year-old Atlanta girl is back home with her parents and big sister less than two months after undergoing a life-saving heart transplant. Kinsley Keeling, who was born healthy in 2014, contracted a virus as a newborn that attacked her heart, Fox 5 Atlanta reported.

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“She was an amazingly beautiful little 5-pound baby in November,” Mary Beth Keeling, Kinsley’s mother, told the news outlet. “And, we took her home with her big sister and had a glorious 10 days as a family of four.”

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While medication helped her heart for the first two years of her life, it began to falter this past spring. Kinsley was admitted to the hospital and hooked up to a machine that helped keep her heart beating while she waited for a donor. The call came on July 31, 2017, and Kinsley underwent a successful transplant.

“[I felt] incredible sadness for that amazing family, that had made an overwhelming and amazing choice in the face of their darkest hour, to donate a heart to our child,” Keeling told Fox 5 Atlanta. “We told her, ‘There is an amazing family out there Kinsley, who is blessing you with the gift of a life again, you’re going to get a new heart today.’ And the first thing she was, ‘And then me go home?’”

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Kinsley was released a week later and requires medication daily, but the family is thankful for newfound health. Keeling called her daily laughter “a constant gift.”

“There is still a lot of unknown, about what her adult life will look like,” Keeling told Fox 5 Atlanta. “But we’re overjoyed that she’s here. She’s playing.” 

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