Baby With Rare Defects Celebrates Her 1st Birthday With A New Heart And A Second Chance At Life

by Kelly Glass
Kelly Glass is a writer whose work focuses on the intersections of parenting, health, and pop culture. She lives in an Illinois college town with her educator husband, wildly ambitious sons, dog, and several fish. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, Romper,, HelloGiggles,, What to Expect, and more.

First birthdays are always special, but for this miracle baby, her first birthday was a second chance at life.

After being diagnosed with a rare congenital defect, baby Rebecca received a new heart for her birthday.

When Rebecca was born, mom Christy Brown noticed her baby wasn’t gaining weight, so she took her to doctors until she was diagnosed with ALCAPA syndrome. This rare congenital defect causes the left coronary artery to remain improperly attached to the heart, which can lead to heart failure.

“It looks like a 7-month-old that’s had a massive heart attack; there was so much damage to the left side of her heart,” Christy said about her miracle baby.

“It turned me upside down. It turned us all upside down,” she said about her daughter’s health struggles.

Baby Rebecca’s health took an even more complicated turn when she had open-heart surgery and was given an artificial heart. While waiting for a transplant, she suffered from a brain bleed and spent six weeks in the ICU.

Just in time for her first birthday, though, the doctor had some good news.

“The surgeon came in and nudged me awake and said, ‘I think we have a heart for her.’ And I sat up and looked around like, I’m dreaming this. Like, this can’t be real,” Christy said. Baby Rebecca got a new heart and the chance to spend her birthday at home with her family and a little cake.

Watch the video to see this 1-year-old recovering well after getting the best birthday present ever.

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