2-year-old may not survive the month without a heart transplant, but doctors won’t perform it

Louisiana
WWL-TV

They believe a heart transplant could save her life, but because there is so little research on the condition, they’ve been turned down.

SLIDELL, La. (WWL-TV) — A 2-year-old girl from Slidell may not survive through the month if she doesn’t get a new heart. Her parents want to share her story to hopefully find someone with answers and raise awareness about her extremely rare medical condition.

LeAnna Brown whose third birthday is this month, has spent more time in a hospital than not. Now her parents are left uncertain whether she’ll see that third birthday.

“She’s fighting,” her mother Ashley Mitchell said. “Every time she gets sick, even if it’s a small virus, it’s always worse for her so this last time she got sick, just pushed her heart over the edge.”

At one month old, LeAnna was diagnosed with a rare metabolic disorder that’s causing heart failure. It’s called Multiple acyl-CoA dehydrogenation deficiency (MADD). Mitchell explains that her daughter’s body can’t break down fats and proteins so they store in other places like her heart.

“The problem we’re running into now is finding a hospital that will be willing to at least try because there’s not enough information on her condition,” Mitchell said. “Nobody has ever had a transplant with her condition.

She and LeAnna’s father, Jason Brown, believe a heart transplant could save her life, but because there is so little research on the condition, they’ve been turned down.

“That’s what she needs, but she’s been turned down by three hospitals now. We’re trying to find somebody, even if not for the transplant, even if its somebody who specializes in metabolic disorders who can reduce the size of her heart, take away the trauma, there is just not a lot of research at all,” Mitchell said. 

Now, doctors are telling the family LeAnna’s heart may not last more than another two weeks. 

“Basically doctors are telling us if no other hospital picks her up, we will just make her comfortable. We can bring her sisters in to finally be able to see her,” Mitchell said in tears. 

Now they wait, pray, and share their story, hoping for the chance to see their little girl reach her third birthday. 

“I’ve been there since she was born, I never miss anything, only thing I ask is give my daughter a fighting chance,” Brown said. 

LeAnna’s ICU nurse created her a Go Fund Me account to raise awareness and financial support for the family. 

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