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Our Story

On June 1, 2017, our family was blessed with a sweet baby girl, Aria Maria Draffin. She was beautiful and healthy. On November 13, 2017, at 3:30 pm when Aria was 5 months old, that was when everything changed. Aria was crying and did not calm down. She was suddenly cold, sweaty, pale and rolled her eyes.

Suddenly her heart stopped beating.

Her grandmother called the paramedics while her mom started CPR. Her grandfather came and took over the resuscitation. It took about 15 minutes until the paramedics arrived. At this time, she still was not breathing.The paramedics took over and shortly thereafter we were told that she has a pulse and breathes. A decision was made to have a pediatrician flown in by helicopter. The pediatrician landed 30 minutes later and noticed Aria was seizing. They had to get Aria stable before she could be moved. The doctors tried to gain access to her at various points, which did not work and they had to put a drill bit into the bone. She was stabilized and then put into the ambulance at about 7:30 pm. She was still there intubated and further stabilized and brought to a hospital in Nuremberg.

Aria was diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy. Her parents were told she would need a heart transplant. The approximate wait for a heart transplant in Germany is 2 years. Aria does not have 2 years. Even though Aria is really sick, she always has a smile on her face. We are working to bring the sweet baby to Memphis so she can have a chance to grow up. Our family has partnered with the Children’s Organ Transplant Association, a nonprofit that helps children who need a life-saving transplant by providing fundraising assistance and family support. 100% of each contribution made in honor of Aria will assist with transplant-related expenses. Please consider making a contribution by clicking on the GIVE NOW button.

 

The Children's Organ Transplant Association (COTA) helps children and young adults who need a life-saving transplant by providing fundraising assistance and family support. COTA is the nation’s only fundraising organization solely dedicated to raising life-saving dollars in honor of transplant-needy children and young adults. 100% of each contribution made to COTA in honor of our patients helps meet transplant-related expenses. COTA’s services are free to our families, and gifts to COTA are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

 

UPDATE!  UPDATE!  UPDATE!

Our beautiful girl got a heart!  We got the news yesterday and they preformed the surgery this morning!  We are so thankful for all the hard work everyone has done to help get us this far!!  Even though the hardest part is over, we still have a long way to go!  We are still raising money for transplant related expences, so every dollar helps!  Please stay with us on our journey to get our beautiful girl healthy and back home to her big brothers, who miss her so much!!

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