LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Little Malia Sanchez became the first Berlin Heart patient to be transported to the natural state and now she is getting ready to head home.
THV first brought you the story of Malia back in August.
Now the 3-year-old has a new heart and is set to go home Friday.
"Even when we got the call that she was going to get a new heart, I was so pumped up I didn't even cry," says Erica Sanchez, Malia's mother.
On September 23rd, doctors spent between six and eight hours removing the Berlin Heart and replacing it with a donor heart. Dr. Elizabeth Frazier says the operation is very tedious because of all the moving parts.
"We have to thin their blood so they're at great risk for bleeding. They're also at risk for stroke if their blood is too thick. It's a complicated thing because the child has already had an operation they have a lot of hardware in their chest," says Frazier.
Despite the length and difficulty of the surgery, Erica Sanchez says she felt peace.
"I just can't explain it because it seemed like it just went by like that," says Sanchez.
Two weeks after a successful surgery, Malia's celebrating going home with cake and presents. The Sanchez family, originally from Alexandria, Louisiana, will stay in Little Rock for a while so ACH doctors can monitor her progress. Erica Sanchez is thankful for the donor and especially the mother of the lost child.
"I would love to meet her. I think I would just give her a big hug! If it wasn't for her my child would not be doing this," says Sanchez.