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3-year-old thrives after life-saving heart transplant

Rori Shane has been part of Frazier Rehab's inpatient pediatric program since she received a new heart at 16 months.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — James and Jennifer Shane called their daughter a lion. Before she entered the world, Rori — like the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz — needed a heart.

"We found out in utero that she had a rare congenital heart defect called single complex ventricle with pulmonary atresia, which is basically she was born with one pumping chamber of her heart," James Shane said.

Initially, the family tried a surgery to fix her heart. After she almost died twice, Rori's parents decided a heart transplant was her best chance. At just 16 months, she had a live-saving surgery.

She got her new heart December 2018, and now she's been learning all the things she couldn't before surgery.

"We are currently undergoing another round of inpatient therapies at Frazier right now, and that brings us up to speed," Shane said.

Frazier Rehab's inpatient pediatric program includes about 150 kids. Rori, her mother and father are all learning how she can do things most children can do, like playing with Elmo.

"When we leave here, we have to have that knowledge too and the staff does an amazing job making sure we have that knowledge at home," Jennifer Shane said.

From her first visit at Frazier to celebrating her third birthday with the staff, Rori's journey is far from over, but the love and encouragement never fades.

 "She's a completely different kid," said Sky Thompson, pediatric program coordinator. "It's always is amazing for our staff to see what they have done that impacted this child so greatly."

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