SK girl gets her heart

A 12-year-old girl who spent most of the summer waiting for a new heart is now recovering after receiving perhaps the best early-Christmas gift possible.

Kristiana Brassard, daughter of Deb Brassard of Port Orchard and Ed Brassard of Belfair, underwent surgery last Wednesday after a perfect organ match was found.

According to an update on the family’s Web site, “(Kristiana) is doing extremely well and making excellent progress,” explaining that by Saturday, she was taken off a ventilator and is now breathing on her own.

Ed 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 outwardly 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. Instead of starting the sixth grade at Burley-Glenwood Elementary, she was admitted to Children’s Hospital in Seattle.

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

Kristiana was then placed on the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) list for a new heart, and was hospitalized in preparation for the surgery. Her mother was also nearby, staying at the Ronald McDonald house.

Now that she is in recovery, she has been joined by other family members from Idaho, California and Missouri.

For anyone wanting to donate to money toward Kristiana’s medical expenses, an account has also been set up at Key Bank, “Benefit Fund for Kristiana A. Brassard.”

And for anyone just wanting to wish her well, you can e-mail her at:

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