7-Year-Old in Need of Heart Transplant

October 27, 2006 -- Posted at 6:21 p.m. CDT

DONIPHAN, MO -- Sue West was 4 months pregnant when she found out her baby had a major heart defect.

"I didn't know what to think or what to expect because they told me my baby probably wouldn't live past birth," said Sue West.

One of her doctors suggested that West have an abortion, but she refused.

"Her first surgery was at three days old to fix her aorta, then her second one was an open heart surgery she was three weeks old, and then the next four came with in two weeks of each other," said West.

For her entire life Haley West has had operations to repair the damage done by nature, but she remains a happy active little girl.  However because of her health she is currently staying home from school.

"The pressures in her lungs right now are just too high.  A cold could send her into congestive heart failure and pneumonia could kill her," said West.

Over the past seven years Haley has had ten operations, each working to repair some small part of her.

Recently staff members at Arkansas Children's Hospital told her there was nothing more they could do, so West took her daughter to St. Louis Children's Hospital where a new alternative was offered; a heart transplant

"One of the surgeons has already signed off on the case.  The other surgeon wants to be as familiar as he can with her but at this time he is still uncomfortable," said West.

If Haley is added to the transplant list she will have to have more surgeries to prepare her abnormal body for the normal heart.

The family is expecting to hear from the hospital in the news few weeks to find out if Haley will get the heart transplant she needs.