The Love of a Child Through One Heartbeat at a Time - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

The Love of a Child Through One Heartbeat at a Time

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DELTA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLNS) - This valentine's day has special meaning for a delta township toddler born with a serious heart defect.

Maggie mcLaren is like any other 2-year-old, but around this time last year, life looked very different for her.

"She was born with a congenital heart defect called hypoplastic right heart syndrome. In a nutshell, it's where her right ventricle didn't develop fully, so they say that these kids have half a heart," said Kelly McLaren, Maggie's mom.

After two unsuccessful heart surgeries, only a transplant would make her heart whole. One Maggie waited in the hospital five months for and finally got last March.

"I've never had a day go by as fast as that Sunday when we were waiting on the heart transplant," remembered Nick mcLaren, Maggie's dad. "And then to see her, at the time, she was 18 months or so, she can't stand up, she can't roll over, she can't even sit up..."

But with that new heart, she literally has new life.

"She came through with flying colors. She's been active, and she's happy and she's lovey and she gives all kinds of smooches," said Kelly.

"Quality of life is what's most important for her. Because we don't know how much longer she has in all honesty. We don't know how much longer any of us have," said Nick.

Maggie's mom says her heart should last for at least ten years, and after that she'll need another donor to keep her heartbeat going.

"The important thing is to live each day to the fullest. Make sure you enjoy life. Make sure you make the most out of it."

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