“Mackenzie collapsed as a result of her heart condition, tetralogy of Fallot”
Mackenzie and her twin sister were born at 33 weeks, each weighing five pounds. Having shown signs of complications in utero, the doctors were taking extra precautions with Mackenzie. The girls were placed in the NICU, and at a mere two days old, Mackenzie was diagnosed with tetralogy of Fallot. This rare heart condition involves four abnormalities occurring together, including a defective septum between the ventricles and narrowing of the pulmonary artery and accompanied by a bluish coloration of the skin caused by blood low in oxygen (cyanosis).
Due to Mackenzie’s age and small size, doctors wanted to postpone her first surgery. Tetralogy of Fallot puts her at an increased risk of serious complications, such as infective endocarditis, an infection of the inner lining of the heart or heart valve caused by a bacterial infection. Untreated cases of tetralogy of Fallot usually develop severe complications over time, which might result in death or disability by early adulthood. At five months old, Mackenzie underwent surgery to repair a hole in her heart and remove her pulmonary valves. Since then, her heart requires constant monitoring.
Mackenzie was recently playing soccer when she suddenly collapsed. An emergency trip to the hospital and an MRI showed that her heart was working too hard. She needed another surgery. The purpose of her second surgery was to give Mackenzie new pulmonary valves. The pulmonary valves play an essential role in providing healthy blood circulation by closing off the lower right chamber of the heart and opening to allow blood to be pumped from the heart to the lungs. Mackenzie’s pulmonary valves will need to be replaced every ten years to ensure proper function. She has an EKG and an echo every year during check-ups to identify any potential problems with her heart muscle, valves, or rhythm as a result of her life-threatening illness.
Mackenzie is a tough young girl with a passion for sports. Her favorite store is Dick’s Sporting Goods. The tomboy loves soccer most of all, and her goal is to be just like her role models Hope Solo and Alex Morgan when she grows up!
Kids Wish Network is hard at work planning a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Mackenzie; make sure to stay up to date by checking back soon for all of the dreamy details of her stupendous wish!