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Help Us as Kenzie undergoes Heart Surgery

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“Mom don’t be sad and scared that I have to have surgery. Be glad that they can fix my heart” wise words from a 13 year old who is having major open heart surgery to replace her aortic valve that is severely damaged due to a birth defect know as “bicuspid aortic valve”. Causing her heart to work harder then it is supposed to as well as increased blood flow and narrowing.
Makenzie (Kenzie) was born with only 2 valves in her heart, we are supposed to have 3. For many years she stayed in the “moderate” level which describes the increased blood flow in one valves and narrowing in the other. At age 10 we went into the “mild” stage and We were told that around age 13-14, she will need surgery. As her heart will have grown to adult size.
This August she had her routine visit at which time we were told that she is now in the “severe” stage and to come back in 4 months as she has no symptoms.
Kenzie turned 13 in September and started 7th grade. I noticed she was very fatigued and a week ago she had chest pains.
We saw her cardiologist and had testing done and her valve is severely damaged, she needs surgery we can not wait any longer.
A team of surgeons from Children’s and the Mayo discussed several surgeries and decided the best would be what’s called a “Ross procedure” as soon as possible. Her aortic valve is unrepairable so they will take that out and use her pulmonary valve to replace her aortic valve. Then they will use a prosthetic valve to replace the pulmonary valve. This is a highly complicated surgery and we Are looking at a lengthy hospital stay with about 5 days in ICU and 14 days in the hospital. When she does come home she will need extensive therapy all this will be done at children’s of Minneapolis we live in Hinckley. About an hour and 20 minutes away. I will not leave her side.
I am a single parent and her only parent. I will be taking a unpaid leave of absence from work to stay with her in the hospital and take care of her when she comes home.
I have a hard time asking and have humbled myself to say “I need help”. I’m asking for financial help to be used for hospital expenses, traveling expenses and to pay my monthly bills while I’m not working.
If you hear our story and are able to help in anyway even if it’s to say we’re praying for you. We thank you. We know That we serve a mighty God and he will provide.


Heidi Jean
Hinckley, MN

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