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Meet Richie

RichieGrey

Meet Richie

A pediatric heart transplant recipient.

“We found out Richie had heart complications when he was about 3 months old. He was born with multiple holes in his heart and we were worried. After many surgeries, a heart was found. We are grateful for Richie and the team at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx. It was at the hospital where we learned about Harboring Hearts – we have found such a strong community of families like ours on heart journeys of their own.”

Everyday, Richie continues to get stronger. Today, Richie is 8 years old, a heart transplant recipient and a big brother! He loves his little sister and takes great pride in his job as an older brother. He also enjoys activities like basketball! During Harboring Hearts’ Family Fun Day at the Nike Store in SoHo, Richie played alongside other pediatric heart surgery patients, and celebrated their strength together during Heart Month in 2018!

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Update on Izabella

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Update on Izabella, heart transplant recipient.

“At just 18 months old, she received her heart transplant and it was very scary to go through as her mom. Like me, she had Cardiomyopathy. I’ve learned to deal with her heart journey and I take it one day at a time. My daughter was very ill and we didn’t know if she was going to make it. Thankfully, I had the support of my family and friends and they attended doctors appointments and different tests for Izabella with me so I wouldn’t need to go through it alone!

A few years ago, at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, we attended a Heart Party with Harboring Hearts. We learned that there were so many other families like ours. Together, we danced, we shared a meal and we bonded. It reminds us that we are not alone when we are able to go to these Heart Parties. What a journey it has been, one I am grateful not to be on alone!”

Recently, Izabella celebrated her 6th birthday! She continues to get stronger and is doing well. She enjoys playing with her computer and had a fantastic year in Kindergarten last year.

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Meet Patrick

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Meet Patrick

Brother of a heart transplant recipient.

“My sister and I have the most fun together when we play Hide & Seek. But it is also really hard having a sister who needs all of the attention because of her heart transplant. Georgia got her new heart when I was only two years old. I don’t remember much of it. When I was little, I stayed with my aunt when Georgia was going through her heart stuff. When she was 5 days old, she had her first heart surgery. Then, as a baby, she had a heart attack and then really soon after, she received a heart transplant. My mom keeps a close eye on her now and we go to a lot of doctor’s appointments for her in New York City at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. Mostly, we have fun together.”

Today, Georgia and her brother also have fun coloring together. As a family, her and her siblings spent a full day in New York City for a Harboring Hearts’ Hope 4 Hearts Day. Georgia and Patrick continue to enjoy life and grow together as siblings!

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Meet Jackie

Story B

Meet Jackie

Caregiver to an LVAD recipient

“My husband was going through heart failure. When we found out he needed a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) due to his heart failure, we didn’t know what to expect. We were scared. I learned how to help him and his battery powered machinery which helped his heart continue to beat. Some days, I really didn’t know where I would find the strength from or how, but we had the support of our family and friends to get us through. We found out about Harboring Hearts through our social worker at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. We found community to be by our side every step of the way. We had a blast at Jean’s Hope 4 Hearts Day two years ago!”

Today, Jean is a full-time personal trainer at his local gym. He no longer carries an LVAD when he trains his clients and his heart journey has taken a new direction.