Local Cool Kid: Lizzie Advocates For Heart Health For Kids

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - Local 24 Cares is proud to help fight heart disease by sponsoring the Go Red for Women campaign from the American Heart Association. This week's local cool kid is quite the fighter. At just five-days old, doctors were forced to perform open heart surgery. Now, just a few months shy of turning six, little Lizzie Gray is an advocate for people, especially children, with congenital heart defects.

Delivery day was a day the Gray family looked forward to for nine months.     

"Everything was great. We had her at that night. Everything seemed to be going good,” says father Josh Gray.

But in the minutes after welcoming their new bundle of joy, doctors noticed something was wrong with little Lizzie.

"Her color was bad, and we had to do some testing to try and figure it out,” says Josh.

These brand-new parents were frantic and very worried. Nurses rushed their daughter to the newborn intensive care unit. Doctors worked to figure out what was wrong.

"When we got down there the doctor told us it was her lungs or her heart. We know neither one was not good,” says Josh.

Lizzie had a heart defect. During her surgery, doctors spent nearly eight hours switching her aorta and pulmonary arteries, which were on opposite sides, and repairing the small hole in her heart.

"You have in your head how things are going to go,” says her mother Laurie Gray. “You're going to have a baby, friends and family are going to see that baby, shower her with love. She's not there anymore. It was scary to say the least."

Fast forward five years later, "We show her now how far she's come. So many medications keeping her going. She progressed very well,” says Laurie.

Lizzie is just like any other child; into mom and dad's cell phone, loves school, and loves princesses.

 


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