Mackinlee Waddell

November 2010

Mackinlee was born five weeks early with a small hole in her heart. Her heart was expected to heal on its own, yet at only two months old, Mackinlee’s heart muscle had weakened tremendously. In an effort to prepare her parents for the years ahead, her doctor mentioned the possibility of a heart transplant.

For four years, Makinlee’s health was maintained through medication alone. However, the day finally came when she unexpectedly went into heart failure. Not wanting to endure all that a heart transplant might mean, Mackinlee’s family sought a second opinion from a pediatric cardiologist on the medical staff at Children’s. The physician determined that a less invasive approach might be possible and that a repair could be made through open-heart surgery. A transplant would not yet be necessary. The Waddells agreed and entrusted Mackinlee to Children’s.

Today, Mackinlee is a thriving teenager. Thanks to Children’s, she is able to use her amazing spirit and strength to help others. She attends Camp John Marc, a local camp, where she encourages and uplifts other children with major medical or physical needs. Mackinlee also is a competitive cheerleader. And because she has had the opportunity to see firsthand the difference fundraising can make, she gives back year after year to her community by raising money to help those in need.


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