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Kenosha 1st Grader Gets New Heart

Back in December, we brought you the story of Lily Lachman, a Kenosha 6-year-old in desperate need of a heart transplant.

Lily was diagnosed with Cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart becomes enlarged and unable to pump blood efficiently.

She's been at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin ever since, waiting for a donor.

Friday, her parents got the call they've been waiting for.

      "I said all we need is a new heart, and then all of a sudden the pager goes off," says Mother Nicole Lachman. "Next thing I know, I'm at the hospital. The tears were joy, sadness, fear, everything. It's overwhelming."

Nicole gave Lily's father, Dan, the honor of telling Lily the news.

      "I started by asking her, what's the one thing you've been asking for that you want? That you really want?" he says. "And she replied, ice cream."

Her second request? A new heart.

      "I told her that more than likely, if things went all, that she was going to be getting a new heart tonight or tomorrow," he says. "It sent her into a whirlwind of emotions." 

Saturday morning at 1 a.m., the family gave Lily a good-luck kiss as she was wheeled off for the lengthy surgery.

      "It was very hard to explain," says Step-Mother Lisa Bella of the emotions. "Sad, hopeful, happy, very scared."

Over 12 hours later, the heart was in, beating on its own without a heart and lung bypass machine. 

The family says they've been told they'll legally need to wait a year before attempting to learn the identity of Lily's donor. 

      "We just want to thank each and every one of them," says Lachman. "If it wasn't for them, this day would have never come." 

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