Destini was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (half a heart). This type of heart defect requires three open-heart surgeries or a heart transplant, for a chance at survival. Destini had her first of 4 surgerys at day 2 of life, and her 2nd at only 6 months old. Complications arose and her chance of survivial were slim past age 5 without a heart transplant. But Destini is a fighter, having her 3rd and 4th surgery by age 3. She amazed her medical team by doing well and being able to play with friends, ride bikes and go to amusement parks.
But her journey was just beginning as at age 13 Destini was diagnosed with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma. Her mother remembers waiting for the biopsy results, not believing that her precious daughter could have yet another battle ahead of her. Although she only had a half of a heart, this brave warrior amazed everyone by enduring multipe rounds of chemotherapy and has been in remission for three years.
Unfortunately, the chemotherapy took a toll on her heart and lungs and ultimately it was decided that she would need a heart transplant to survive. Due to her occluded pulmonary artery there was question of her even being a candidate for a transplant as her chances of surviving the surgery were slim. Additionally the anti-rejection medications would make her extremely vulnerable to the cancer returning. After a lot of testing, consultations with multiple specialists and other children’s hospitals, and some very difficult processing within our family; Destini was put on the transplant list in October 2018.
Destini had her heart transplant February 10th 2019 and was discharged from the hospital sooner than most heart transplant patients. We are so thrilled she did so well with this high-risk surgery and are closely monitoring her heart for rejection.
This is what her mother has to say about Destini: Destini is the strongest girl I’ve ever known. I am so proud to be her mother and continue to be astonished by her perseverance. Post Destini’s heart transplant she has more energy, feels better, went to cardiac camp, and takes less medications. If you did not know of Destini’s medical problems you would never know Destini has been through so much. Destini is the happiest more energetic kid, and doesn’t not let anything get her down. Destini’s famous words are "mom don’t worry, I got this!!!"