Parents of girl with severe heart condition hope daughter will inspire others

 One look at Zoey Randall can melt your heart, but Zoey's heart is another story. Zoey was born with an enlarged heart that has a defective valve.

"Hers is actually thicker than normal, so it has a big problem opening to let the blood through," said Zoey's father Aaron Randall.

The 16-month-old has already undergone two heart surgeries, and in two weeks will have part of one of her kidneys removed after doctors recently discovered one was damaged. She can barely walk on her own, a sign of slow development her parents say has to do with her condition.

"She gets really exhausted.. at this age she should be bouncing around, right now she gets tired, her heart is overworking," said Zoey's mother Laci Randall.

With more surgeries on the horizon and medical bills piling up, Zoey's parents say the community has been very supportive, and the Beaumont chapter of the American Heart Association recently made Zoey the "poster child" for its upcoming heart walk in November.

"They read her story and pretty much said she's perfect for what they need," said Laci.

The past 16 months have been difficult, but Zoey's parents have a message for any others out there facing similar circumstances.
     
"Don't be saddened, find a blessing in every situation, there's always going to be a positive in the negative," said Laci.

A benefit to help cover Zoey's medical expenses will be held Saturday, May 17 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Cowboy Church on the Rock on Highway 90.

For more information about Zoey and her condition, you can visit www.heartsforzoey.com


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