Girl gets new heart after alert nurse notices defect

- Last year, a young girl was rushed to the hospital because she was having a hard time breathing. She was diagnosed with bronchitis and sent home. 

But four days later, Kayla Williams was back in the emergency room -- this time at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital -- and a keen nurse noticed there was a much more serious problem lurking in Kayla's heart. 

Now, Kayla is getting her biopsy check-up. The 11-year-old ended up having a heart transplant last year soon after that trip to the emergency room.

"I just wasn't feeling very well and I couldn't eat a lot," Kayla recalled.

Kayla's mom Gina Graham said they thought Kayla was going to be discharged again, but an alert nurse said, "Lets just do a vital, one more time."

"Then they noticed that there was something dramatic going on with her heart," Gina added.

They rushed her to All Children's Hospital.

Dr. Alfred Asante Korang explained Kayla has a condition called dilated cardiomyopathy.  It causes the heart to become enlarged and function poorly -- so poorly that Kayla needed a heart transplant. She was added to the heart transplant list, and three days later she got a heart.

"It was very scary," Gina said. "But, through faith, and just prayer, to just know that God was in control."

Now, Kayla takes 46 pills a day so that her body won't reject her heart.

"It's a lot to some people, but I have been doing it for a year now, so I kind of adjusted to it," Kayla said.

Dr. Korang says Kayla and her new heart were a great match. 

"She's doing very well. This heart is really the perfect heart for her," Dr. Korang said. "The heart function is great and Kayla is back to her normal self."

And Kayla has big dreams for her future. She wants to be a lawyer. 

Up Next:

Up Next

  • Girl gets new heart after alert nurse notices defect
  • App helps visually impaired teens navigate life
  • Clearwater crossing guard reflects on 30 years of service
  • Meet Tampa's Hispanic Man of the Year
  • Teens help clear trees while school's out
  • Neighbors help neighbors in Irma aftermath
  • Cristo Rey School pairs work with study for rounded students
  • The Walking School Bus helps kids get to school safely
  • Oxford Exchange shoeshiner is much more than polish
  • Riverview track and field club builds leaders