SK girl waiting for new heart

At first, Kristiana Brassard’s wish list looks like that of any other 12-year-old girl.

She’d like to meet Hilary Duff. She’d like to work with collies, like her mom, and maybe someday become a nurse.

Most of all, however, she’d like a new heart.

A couple of months ago, Kristiana was planning on starting the sixth grade at Burley-Glenwood Elementary this week. Now, however, she can’t leave the hospital.

“Forty days ago, she was fine,” said her father, Ed Brassard. “Then we got back from camping, and the doctor told us that her heart just gave out — at 12 years old.”

Brassard said his daughter was born with a “bad heart valve,” and though she had open-heart surgery at 4 years old, she had been taking medication for years and on the outside, appeared to be a “normal girl.”

Until about a month and a half ago, when the medicine stopped working, and her doctor told the family she would need another heart.

“Now I am back in the hospital and need a heart transplant,” Kristiana writes on her Web site. “This is very scary, but I am trying to be brave.”

Two weeks ago, Kristiana was placed on the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) list for a new heart. While she waits, her father said, she stays full-time at Children’s Hospital in Seattle, where doctors hope to build up her strength in preparation for the surgery.

Her mother, Deb Brassard of Port Orchard, is staying at the Ronald McDonald house nearby, to spend as much time with her daughter as possible, Brassard said.

While they wait for a heart, Brassard said, Kristiana’s family and friends are just trying to spend as much time with her as they can, and are hoping and praying she can leave the hospital soon.

To help cover Kristiana’s medical expenses, a spaghetti feed is planned for Saturday, Sept. 17, at the Crosby Community Club in Seabeck, at 6 p.m. An account has also been set up at Key Bank, “Benefit Fund for Kristiana A. Brassard.”

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