Reese Brady Ryan was featured in LifeCenter’s 2018 calendar as a heart recipient and her mother Laurie shares an update on how she’s doing:
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It’s hard to believe it’s been 4 years since Reese’s heart transplant.

Sometimes it seems like yesterday we were given the devastating news that her increased sleep patterns and excessive weight loss were due to heart failure…right out of left field. Her transplant went extremely well.

In the past year or so, Reese has been questioning how she got her new heart and who gave it to her. After a very brief explanation from me she said, “That was so nice of him to give me his heart, should we invite him to my party or write him a thank you note?” I want to preserve this innocence forever.

Reese’s last year of preschool was cut short due to the COVID-19 virus. While she really misses her friends and teachers, she’s completely aware that staying home keeps her safe and healthy. She uses phrases like “When this is all over,” and “Did you wipe this off yet?” when she’s helping me put groceries away. While we’re all unsure of what the near future will look like or what our new normal will be, I’m sure Reese will adapt and shine brightly in kindergarten.

While we’ve been home, Reese has learned to ride a bike, loves jumping on the trampoline and doing sidewalk chalk. And if you asked her, she would probably say, “I’m like really into doing crafts and playing with my dolls and making dance videos.” Because she is 5 1/2 going on 15…and I’m loving every minute of it.

Reese’s donor family is always in my thoughts. I’m so thankful they made the decision to say yes to organ donation. I know she’ll never take this gift for granted. – Laurie