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Parenting: Saving Gracie's Heart

Heart Transplant
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Posted at 3:30 AM, Dec 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-01 04:30:16-05

Nichole Menard thought her daughter, Gracelyn, had the flu.

She brought her to the doctor, got her tested, and a few hours later was on a plane, with Gracelyn, headed for Houston.

The two-year-old was in congestive heart failure.

Doctors diagnosed the toddler with Dilated Cardiomyopathy. The disorder, which can be hereditary or caused by a viral infection, is when the ventricles are not working properly and cannot pump blood as well as a healthy heart.

The family will have to live in Houston, at Texas Children's Hospital, until Gracelyn is able to have a heart transplant.

"We will do anything possible to give our little girl the best quality of life," Menard said. "I love her so much. She's my monkey. It's very hard. We're taking it a day at a time."

With a Ventricular Assist Device in place, Gracelyn is now at the top of the heart transplant list.

"It's a nightmare," Menard said. "I would have never guessed. She has always been a healthy, active child who loves to play with her two sisters. She never showed any signs or symptoms that she had a failing heart."

Now, the waiting game.

One that is not easy for the mother of three.

Nikki and her husband are both by Gracelyn's side during this process. That means that their other two children are at home in Rayne until a donor is found.

"We only get to see them on the weekends," Menard said.

Despite the unknowns, Menard said they have faith and community backing.

"We are speechless at the amount of support that people are giving us. The love and financial support.--we can't say thank you enough."

If you would like to help the Menard Family you can make a donation at Rayne State Bank under "Saving Gracie's Heart."