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We often say that people who are especially kind have big hearts. In the case of SaDeria Cheatem, this statement applied to her from birth, not only because of her sweetness but also in a more literal way. SaDeria was born with an enlarged heart. Her heart also had a hole in the left ventricle. In order to treat her condition until the hole could be fixed, her pediatric cardiologist treated her with medication. This continued until she was two, and then surgeons repaired the hole.

Although the surgery was successful, eight years later SaDerias heart failed, and she suffered from a cardiac arrest. Thankfully, her mother was nearby and performed CPR on her daughter to save her. After this frightening episode, surgeons implanted a defibrillator in SaDeria's heart. This helped her for a few years, but she began having problems again two years later, when she was 12 years old. After she experienced two blood clots in her heart, doctors advised that SaDeria needed a heart transplant.

While she waited for a donor heart, surgeons implanted a ventricular assist device (VAD) into her heart to increase the blood flow in her body with a mechanical pump. Even though doctors insisted that SaDeria needed a new heart, she was scared and did not want a transplant. After her mom explained its necessity, SaDeria finally agreed to a transplant, and two months later a donor heart became available.

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