EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSHEARTS 4 HANAH
from Eyewitness News Online
Dinner, Auction To Help Local Heart Transplant Recipient
Reported by: Darrah Wilcox
Web Producer: Darrah Wilcox
Reported: Feb. 10, 2012 5:51 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 10, 2012 5:58 PM EST
Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia
11-year-old Hanah Baker was was born with a backwards heart. At 6 months old, she had a shunt and a pacemaker put in, but it wasn't until she was diagnosed with pnemonia this past December that her heart health started sharply declining. She started experiencing shortness of breath and chest pains, and was rushed to the Cincinnati Children's hospial.
Ricky Baker, Hanah's dad, says, "She was put on a donor list. She was on there for not quite 48 hours, and got a donor heart." He says that's the fastest the hospital says they've matched a patient in 24 years!
That was just two weeks ago! We asked Hanah how she's feeling so far. She says,
"I feel wonderful!" She looks wonderful too! You can hardly believe she's been through such a recent ordeal. Dad Ricky says she was strong through it all. "She's always went through like it wasn't nothing. She's our angel."
Hanah told us via Skype she can't wait to be active again, playing outside, cheerleading, and hanging out with her youth group at Harmony United Methodist Church. That's who put together a fundraiser that has turned into a huge community event in Altizer. Co-organizer and auctioneer for the event Rick Simmons says, "A bunch of people from the community has really jumped in to make this a community unity effort to help little Hanah and her family during their situation, during their plight."
The church is sponsoring a spaghetti dinner and auction tomorrow that will feature a proclamation from the governor read by Cabell County commissioner Bob Bailey. Huntington Mayor Kim Wolfe will declare Februrary 11th Hanah Baker Day!
Simmons says, "It's things like this that bring us all together for the better of the community and the city."
Hanah and her family are beyond thankful. She says, "Thank you for all the support and everything." Her dad says they are so happy to have the support system back home.
She says she can't wait to come home and thank everyone in person either! "When I get home I look forward to seeing all my friends and family, and just being able to give them all a hug."
Hanah's 12th birthday is April 1st, and she's hoping to be home in Huntington to celebrate this birthday.
Tomorrow's spaghetti dinner is from 3:00-7:00 at Harmony United Methodist Church on Riverside Drive in Altizer. You can dine in, or carry out.
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