EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSBEATING THE ODDS
from Eyewitness News Online
Roane County Family Grateful For Little Girl's Recovery After Heart Transplant
Reported by: Elizabeth Noreika
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Feb. 27, 2013 9:08 AM EST
Updated: Feb. 27, 2013 10:48 AM EST
Spencer, Roane County , West Virginia
Her big brown eyes are full of wonder and her little hands get into everything.
It's these little things her parents treasure every day as just a few months ago, they were close to losing her.
At only 5 and half months old, Baylee’s heart stopped working.
“They did X-rays and blood work and said she was in heart failure," said Becky Carper, Baylee’s mother.
Becky Carper and her husband, Ernest, were devastated.
"I thought she was going to die," she said. “I was scared that I was going to lose her."
Baylee was taken to several hospitals before ending up in Pittsburgh. She needed a heart transplant and fast.
Doctors had to place Baylee on what is called a Berlin heart. It is an external pump attached by tubes to the heart, helping a heart beat that's too weak to work on its own.
"It scares me because it's like this pump right there on her stomach. I wasn't prepared for it. When I saw it afterward, I just cried. It was shocking," Becky said.
Shocking, but it was life saving. Without it, little Baylee may not be here. For five days, Baylee stayed alive on the device. Finally, Baylee’s parents got the call; they had found a heart for the little girl.
“They called me at like 2 a.m. She was staying up, and 5:30 we got the call. They said they found her a heart, and we started crying. They said it was high risk because the baby had a blood transfusion, but we accepted it," Becky said.
And the surgery went well.
While there were several setbacks, Baylee eventually accepted her transplant and finally her family could take her home to Roane County.
"Her fighting kept me going. There were a bunch of times I wanted to leave, but I knew I had to be there," Becky said.
While there are still numerous doctors visits in their future and daily doses of medicine, Baylee is doing well.
“Sometimes I forget that she had a transplant. You would never know if you didn't know her or see her scar,” Becky said.
A faint scar, but a bright future for this brave little girl.
"She surprises us every day," her mother said. "She'll do something amazing."
Ernest said the family definitely counts its blessings. "We try to enjoy all the time we have with her because anything could happen at any time," he said. "Keep the prayers, and we still have a lot of support. Everything helps."
Baylee is still doing well and continues to grow every day.
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