Little girl born with half a heart, a lot of fight - FOX Carolina 21

Little girl born with half a heart, a lot of fight

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Gracie Baber smiles at home on Tuesday, March 25. (Jason Westerhaus/FOX5) Gracie Baber smiles at home on Tuesday, March 25. (Jason Westerhaus/FOX5)

A 4-month-old girl born with a rare heart condition has proven she has more than a little fight in her.

Gracie Baber has already undergone two surgeries since being born five days before Thanksgiving.

Gracie's mother, Candie Baber, was given the news about her daughter's condition 16 weeks into her pregnancy.

"It was really hard, because it's like someone telling you your baby is not going to be OK," she said.

Gracie has hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Essentially, she was born with half a heart. On the first day of her life, doctors at Sunrise Children's Hospital used a heart catheter to get a look at the problem. Ten days later, Gracie underwent open heart surgery.

"All these things keep going through our heads, like what's going to happen down the road? Is she going to need a transplant? Is her heart going to be strong enough? What's going to happen to her?" Candie Baber said.

Her mother said it is actually Gracie who gives her strength.

"She was fighting, so we were fighting for her," Candie Baber said.

After 3 1/2 months, five procedures and two surgeries, Gracie was allowed to come home two weeks ago. She has to take oxygen and wear a tube that regulates her food intake.

"We are blessed, that's what we are. God knows he gave us this little angel and we'll do our best to make sure she's taken care of," said Delon Baber, Gracie's father.

Gracie will undergo another surgery in a few months and a fourth one when she turns 3.

Gracie's struggle has taken a tough toll on her parents. They are both in the construction industry and had to step away from their jobs in order to devote time to her.

Their medical bills are mounting, but they remain focused on getting Gracie the open heart surgery she requires in a few months.

For now, they are getting by with help from friends, family and the community.

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