Inland Empire baby girl in need of heart transplant finds donor

March 17, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Holding a stuffed animal, 5-month-old Paisley Mae Arnold prepared for her life-saving surgery.

Her parents Rick and Charity received word Saturday night that a heart donor had been found for their daughter, and within a few hours, Paisley was in the operating room receiving a new heart.

"Paisley's doing OK, it's still really early, but as far as what the doctors have said, the surgery went very well," said Rick Arnold.

Arnold says there's still a risk of infection, and the possibility Paisley's body could reject the donor heart.

He and his wife discovered just three weeks ago during a check-up that their baby girl's heart was failing. Paisley had an enlarged heart with no left coronary artery.

To help buy her some time, doctors implanted a device to help get oxygen to her heart until a donor became available.

"To be listed only three weeks and to receive the phone call was just incredible," said Rick Arnold.

Arnold is a paramedic with the San Bernardino County Fire Department in Hesperia. His fellow fire fighters, friends and family members have helped raise money to cover some of Paisley's medical expenses.

The Arnolds are grateful for the outpouring of support and countless prayers.

"It's in God's hands and we just have to trust in him, and that's what we've done, and it's worked out," he said.


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