Family Of 7-Year-Old Duluth Girl Raising Awareness For Heart Transplant

In Duluth, Minnesota, a 7-year-old girl named Roya Snyder is waiting for a heart transplant and could potentially wait for several more months. Roya was an active ballet dancer and athlete, but an undetected heart condition changed her family’s life when she suffered a cardiac event on her school bus last year. After being diagnosed with three types of cardiomyopathy, Roya was placed on the transplant waiting list. To bring awareness and hope to others in need, Roya’s family is relying on the help of family and the community during American Heart month.

Despite the challenges, Roya has remained strong and asked the Make-A-Wish foundation for a long-lasting gift rather than a vacation: a puppy named Doxie. Roya and Doxie have become inseparable, with the little pup even visiting Roya in her hospital room at Mayo Clinic. The waiting process for a transplant is a difficult one, as Roya has to be careful not to get sick during flu season to avoid missing her window for a potential heart donation. The Snyder family has also been learning about financial assistance programs like the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) to help cover the expenses associated with the heart transplant.

When Roya finally receives a new heart, it may only last her 15 to 20 years, meaning she may need additional transplants in the future. However, her family remains hopeful and continues to stay updated on advancements in the field of heart medicine. Derek Snyder, Roya’s father and co-owner of Lake Avenue Restaurant in Duluth, recognizes the importance of raising awareness about organ donation and wants to help others going through similar situations. The Snyder family’s journey serves as a reminder of the resilience of children fighting for their lives and the importance of community support during times of need.

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