Family asks for help as Cottondale girl battles serious heart de - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Family asks for help as Cottondale girl battles serious heart defect

Bethanee with "Lammy." Source: WBRC video Bethanee with "Lammy." Source: WBRC video

A new online push is underway to help the family of a two-year-old little Cottondale girl living with a hole in her heart.

Like most toddlers Bethanee Vanmantre stays busy and especially loves playing with jer little stuffed sheep she calls "Lammy."

"She's a happy go lucky baby," Gabrielle Vanmatre, Bethanee's mother said.

You would never know Bethanee has hole in her heart. She was born with "Atrial Septal Defect" or "ASD".

"And what ASD is it mixes up the oxygen and blood flow through the heart. So one side of the heart is working three times hard that the other side," Vanmatre said.

In Bethanee's case, surgery is required to fix it. It could be later this year or early next year before that happens.

In the meantime, the family makes a number of trips every few months to see her cardiologist at UAB.

The cost of gas adds up quickly. Right now, the family is making ends meet, but they say it's tough.

So Bethanee's mom created a "Go Fund Me" page asking for donations for gas and food for when they travel to Birmingham.

"Money is really tight for us. The only reason I created this like I said is to help with gas funds and to eat because sometimes we're there all day long," Vanmatre said.

Because of ASD, Bethanee tires very easily and her mom just wants doctors to help her daughter regain her strength so she can live a normal life.

"Its been pretty difficult. It's been very stressful knowing she's got this even though they've explained it's still hard to accept," Vanmatre said.

Bethanee's mom says doctors want to do cath lab surgery instead of open heart surgery to fix the hole in her heart.

Follow this link to visit Bethanee's Go Fund Me page:

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