A seven-year-old girl in Milton, West Virginia, named Avery Sweat was fine until about six weeks ago when she developed symptoms her parents thought were asthma.
A visit to the emergency room eventually caused them to end up at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, WCHS reported Saturday.
“The nausea, the tiredness, the coughing, the asthma; These are things that I never dreamed would be associated with heart failure in a million years,” Ginger Sweat, her mom, explained.
Her mother knew something was very wrong, as did doctors at Cabell-Huntington Hospital, so they sent the family to Columbus when she began experiencing heart failure.
Medications worked, but a panic attack triggered Avery’s heart and an MRI showed severe damage and a condition known as dilated cardiomyopathy, which is a common cause of heart failure, according to the Mayo Clinic.
“She said, ‘Mommy am I going to die? Please don’t let me die. I wish I could be someone else.’ That’s like the most gut-wrenching thing you could ever hear your child say,” Ginger recalled.
Doctors said she would need a heart transplant as quickly as possible, but until one is available, Avery will remain on an LVAD device.
Ginger runs an in-house bakery but due to their hospital stay, the family’s income is no longer coming in. However, when neighbors heard about their need, they stepped in to help.
Seven-year-old Mia knows the family and created “Avery’s Hearts,” to make necklaces to sell for $5 with the proceeds going to the Sweat family.
****new wsaz story!****https://www.gofundme.com/f/avery-sweat-7-went-into-heart-failure-needs-help
A GoFundMe page for Avery’s family has so far raised $16,025 of its $20,000 goal, and people have designed t-shirts and started other fundraisers.
Avery’s health changes every day and her mother said on Friday she had a stroke and is recovering.
“We are just so so grateful. While we hate to ask for any type of help at all, we need it. I’m usually the giver. We’re usually the giving family, and we like to help more than receive,” Ginger noted.
Those interested in buying an Avery’s Heart necklace can send an email to Brewer13@mctc.edu.