WASHINGTON - At just 6-months old, Olivia Jones needed a heart transplant. Doctors told her family that she suffered from idiopathic cardiomyopathy and that she could die if a new heart wasn’t found.
She spent over 100 days in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Children's National Medical Center. After over 300 days of waiting – she finally received a new heart.
That was 10 years ago.
Olivia is now 11-years-old and is celebrating 10 years with a heart transplant! She and her family celebrate her anniversary every year by releasing two balloons – one for her and one for her donor.
Her mom, Schonay, spoke to us Friday and told us how they found out about Olivia’s heart condition. She said they took her to the hospital because she was having problems breathing. They thought it was pneumonia. “Sit tight, she doesn’t have pneumonia,” the doctor told her. “Her heart is twice the size it should be.”
10 years after her diagnosis and heart transplant, Olivia visited FOX 5 and brought with her her ‘Beads of Courage.’ Each bead represents an obstacle she has had to overcome in her fight for life. She has 1076 total.
So what did Olivia do to celebrate her special day? She went to school and took a math test.
And her family couldn’t be happier.