9-Year-Old Harper Returns Home After Life-Saving Heart Transplant In Frostburg

FROSTBURG — Harper Struntz, a 9-year-old girl who underwent a heart transplant in March, received a heartwarming welcome from her community. After spending more than six months in the hospital, Harper was escorted home by local police and fire departments, with area residents lining Main Street in Frostburg to show their support. Harper’s mother, Alison Drew, expressed her gratitude for the overwhelming support her family has received. To help with the ongoing medical care, a GoFundMe account called Healing Harper has raised $15,470 from 268 donors.

Harper’s health deteriorated rapidly in September, and she was admitted to UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. She underwent open-heart surgery and several other procedures, including kidney dialysis. In December, she was listed as a priority patient for a heart transplant. Harper received a new heart in March and has responded well to the surgery. She will be tutored this summer to catch up with her class and will start fourth grade in the fall. The community and people from around the world have expressed their support for Harper and her family, who are grateful for the new life she has been given.

The homecoming event was organized by Nicole Brant, who followed Harper’s journey on the Facebook page called Harper Strong. Brant was touched by a post on the page that expressed the family’s appreciation for the heart donor and their loved ones. Several groups in the county contributed to the homecoming celebration, including a local senior center and school students who made paper and cloth hearts for the event. The community has rallied together to show their support for Harper and her family during this difficult time.


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