DRUMMONDS, TN (WMC) -
Aria, the daughter of Morgan and Sabrina Draffin, was born in 2017. She has Dilated Cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart becomes enlarged and cannot pump blood effectively.
Aria has a smile that lights up a room, and behind it is a strong little girl in desperate need of help.
"If you meet my daughter, you would not know anything's wrong with her,” said her father Morgan. "She was diagnosed with a dilated cardiomyopathy. In short terms, the left side of her heart is three times the size of the right side of her heart."
Morgan said Aria's journey has been a difficult one.
"When she turned around 5-and-a-half months old, she died on us for roughly 20 minutes,” Morgan said.
After several tests and procedures, Morgan and his wife Sabrina decided Aria could receive the help she needs here at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital.
He served in the U.S. Army for eight years stationed in Germany, where Aria has two older brothers her parents had to leave with family in order to get her on a transplant waiting list.
"It is very vital,” Morgan said. “At any moment, we can lose my daughter."
The wait time is anywhere from 3-6 months and costs as much as $800,000.
"I left my two little boys back in Germany with my in-laws, I still got to support them, I still got bills I’ve got to pay over there and with me being here puts a strain on all that,” Morgan said.
Aria’s family is grateful for the Children's Organ Transplant Association or COTA working to raise money for transplant recipients.
"That's what our goal is, getting her better and in her home,” said Aria’s grandmother Tonia Draffin.
As her family waits, they're hoping they can breathe a little easier and that their little girl will soon receive a healthy heart.
"I'm just trying to save my daughter's life,” Morgan said. “That's all I'm doing."
Volunteers in Drummonds, Tennessee, are working to raise $600,000 to help the Draffin family. If you would like to help, click here.
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