Sisters Share Rare Heart Disease

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Sisters often share many things, including toys, clothing, makeup, records. In North Texas, two sisters also share the same diagnosis. Emily Smith, 7, and her sister, 9-year-old Shayde, both have been diagnosed with restrictive cardiomyopathy, a rare heart disease.

Restrictive cardiomyopathy makes the heart muscles less able to relax between pumps. This keeps the heart from filling properly with blood.

Last year doctors told the family that without a transplant, the girls' chances of surviving the next two years were 50-50. Their heart condition greatly increases their risk of a blood clot or sudden cardiac death.

The chances that any one person develops restrictive cardiomyopathy is rare, about one in a million. For two children in the same family to have the disease is extraordinarily rare.

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Emily has received her new heart. Shayde still needs one.

Children's Medical Center spokeswoman Jessica Newell said, “Emily and Shayde were enjoying a sleepover at their grandmother's home in Fort Worth Sunday when the family received a call informing them that a heart was available for Emily.”

“The family, which lives in Boyd, about 35 miles northwest of Fort Worth in Wise County, rushed to Children's in Dallas. Emily went in for surgery at 9 a.m. Six hours later, the transplant surgery ended in success”, said Newell.

For more information on restrictive cardiomyopathy
National Institute of Health

For more information on heart transplant
National Institute of Health

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