6-Year-Old Awaiting Heart Transplant Gets Early Kindergarten Graduation
Kyleigh Ward's heart condition has had her in and out of hospitals since she was one week old. Her mom says she had holes in her heart, pulmonary hypertension, and restrictive cardiomyopathy
Kyleigh Ward is only 6-years-old, but has had three open-heart surgeries and is waiting for a heart transplant. But it’s the kindergarten graduation, held just for her, that has this little fighter and her family overcome with emotion.
“We just immediately started crying,” said Briancca Trammell, her mother. “We was crying before we even got into the gym.” “There probably wasn't a dry eye in the building,” Milton Ray, the principal of Crossroads Elementary, adds.
For the event, students and teachers gathered to give Kyleigh her “moving on” certificate and present her with special gifts.
Milton explains how this special ceremony came to be. “I got a phone call from one of my kindergarten teachers, telling me that one of her students was having heart surgery. And she would probably not make it to graduation,” he said. “And she wanted to know if she could pick up her certificate. I said, ‘We can do a little better than that.’”
Kyleigh’s heart condition has had her in and out of hospitals since she was one week old. Her mom says she had holes in her heart, pulmonary hypertension, and restrictive cardiomyopathy. That’s why this transplant is so desperately needed.
Since Kyleigh is waiting for a heart transplant, she’s spent her kindergarten year learning remotely. Because there are no transplant hospitals nearby, her mom, Briancca, is constantly on-call for their family to go to Texas, Alabama, or Arkansas for this life-saving operation.
Until then, Briancca says they are just trying to stay positive. “We try to explain it to her in ways that are easy for her to comprehend everything. She knows that she's going to have to go back, but she's just like, ‘Mommy, I don't even need a heart. My heart is fine.’ But she just stays positive through it all. And that's what keeps us going.”
She added, “I just pray not only do we get the help that we get, but that people start actually reaching out to other families. And we just hope to inspire the other little kids who deal with heart transplants or any type of organ transplant.”
Caring for Kyleigh means this single mom can no longer work outside the home, making finances a challenge. Luckily, a GoFundMe has been created to help with expenses.
And to all of the people who have joined Team Kyleigh and supported her through this journey, Kyleigh has a simple statement: “Thank you!”
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