Fort Mill Teenager Prepares for Heart Transplant

FORT MILL, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) – Imagine being just 14 years old and hearing you need a heart transplant.

Now imagine being a mom learning your daughter just collapsed at school.

All of that is the reality for one Fort Mill teenager and her family.

Thanks to first responders she survived and is now waiting on another miracle.

Through the smiles of 14 year old Brianna Cannon, its hard to imagine just a few weeks ago she was fighting for her life.

“To hear your child had a heart attack at age 14 is unreal”, says Katie Gross.

Mom, Katie Gross and husband Kevin say they got the phone call on February 17th that Brianna collapsed during Track and Field tryouts at Gold Hill Middle School.

Soon Katie learned Brianna not only passed out but had a seizure and her heart even stopped. She was rushed to an area hospital then flown to Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte.

“They did an echo of her heart and saw something the didn’t like”, says Katie.

Katie says they learned Brianna had a heart attack. Her daughter who always seemed so healthy was diagnosed with Restrictive cardio Myopathy, a rare disease of the heart.

“Its a seizure of the heart muscles, its not curable”, says Katie.

The family learned quickly Brianna needs a heart transplant.

“She deserves a long life and if a transplant is what its going to take then we are all in”, says Katie.

Brianna is now back home and has a defibrillator to help her body as they wait.

And this family is not alone. From support for Gold Hill Middle school and strangers donating to a Go Fund Me Page created by a friend, Brianna knows the journey will be long, but she’s thankful for a second chance at life.

“I think I feel like the more I think about getting this heart transplant, I feel like it will change my life”, says Brianna.

Brianna also wanted others to know she at times was feeling winded, but didn’t think much about it. She wants others to listen to their bodies.

Her next step is she has a transplant evaluation, after that the transplant could happen at any time.

The family also wanted to thank the support of their principal at Gold hill Middle School and the first responders who came to the scene.

As far as the track team, Brianna will still get to take part, not running or jumping but as the team’s manager. their first meet is next week and she plans to be there.

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