A Heart for Rini

Rini is our youngest child of six. Born with complex single ventricle heart disease, Rini was declining quickly as we raced to complete our adoption.

Things moved so quickly. After a week-long evaluation process, she was accepted as a high-risk cardiac transplant candidate on the same day that she went into respiratory failure and was intubated.

As each day passed and she suffered complication after complication, my mind would go around and around with an unsettling reality focused on so many “if onlys.” If only she had received intervention in China. If only she hadn’t come home so malnourished. If only this, if only that.

And it wasn’t just Rini. It was never, ever just about her.

As each rainy day turned dark, as another day filled with that grueling mixture of anxiety and hope passed, I was haunted by all of those left behind: all of the children with nobody to advocate for them, to hold their hand, to provide a chance at life, or to grieve their death.

We were preparing to lose our sweet baby girl. But on Tuesday, November 12, 19 days after Rini’s name appeared on the list for transplant, Dr. Mike McMullen entered Rini’s room and said, “There is a heart for Rini.” 

Each and every day, we marvel that our daughter is here with us: smiling, talking, dancing and playing. But I remain haunted. Haunted by the precious souls who did not receive their second chance. 

It took a family donating their child’s heart to save our daughter.  But it doesn’t have to come to that for others. — Andrea, Rini’s mom

When you give the gift of a heart repair, you can give a child a second chance at life. Give Now!

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