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Kenosha 1st Grader Waits for New Heart

Instead of waiting for Santa, a 6-year-old from Kenosha is waiting for a new heart. Lily Lachman was diagnosed with Cardiomyopathy in December. At first, her family thought she had a sinus infection or a bad cold because her symptoms were similar. When she didn't get better after a week, her parents rushed her to the emergency room. After further testing, doctors found Lily had an enlarged and failing heart. 

“Something didn’t feel right. My gut was telling me now is the time we have to take her in. And I’m glad we did,” said Lily's mom, Nicole Lachman. “I’m just trying to make sense of it all because she was normal, happy, healthy. Now two weeks later being here, now we’re heart transplant."

A mother's instinct was potentially life-saving. Lily has been at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin since her diagnosis, with her extended family by her side.

“That’s the best way to go about things. There’s no other option at this time. We need to be here for each other because it’s not about us, it’s about Lily,” said Lisa Bella, Lily's step mom.  

On Sunday, Lily was upgraded to Status 1A on the transplant list, which means high priority and urgent. 

"The problem with Lily is she’s been getting intensive treatment for two weeks now, and she’s not getting better. We don’t want to wait until something bad happens and find out we should have gotten a heart transplant. So, heart transplant is her most likely outcome. And it is the best long term therapy that she has," said Dr. Steve Kindel, the Medical Director of Advanced Heart Failure and Transplantation at Children's Hospital. 

Until that heart is available, the family will wait. Lily's mom is staying at the Ronald McDonald House. Her dad, step mom and three siblings visit her every day. The family will celebrate Christmas in the hospital. 

“Right now we’re just hoping for a Christmas miracle," said Nicole. 

Lily's friends and family have set up a Go Fund Me to help with medical bills and recovery expenses. To donate or keep tabs on Lily's progress, click here. There is also a benefit in her honor taking place at American Legion Hall Post 21 in Kenosha on January 16 at 2 p.m. There will be music, free food and a silent auction. 

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