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.
“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.”
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?’”
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.”