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Sarah’s story: Waiting for a heart

Nineteen years old is an exciting age. Sometimes it’s off to college or a new job, but for one Pocatello teen, it has meant the possibility a new heart.

She has been living full-time at Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City.

“I decided to make it a little more homier,” said Sarah Brown.

The hospital room is Sarah’s home, and home really is where the heart is.

“I think I’ve felt every emotion possible during this,” said Sarah.

“What a miracle,” said dad Steve Brown. “We’re not supposed to be here.”

Sarah was born with several heart defects. In January she joined the transplant list.

“It’s kind of something that hasn’t sunk in all the way,” said Sarah.

While at her home away from home in Primary Children’s, her mom, dad, sister and three brothers are in Pocatello.

“They kind of take shifts,” said Sarah. “So, as often as they can be here.”

“It’s not something we wanted to do, but it’s a price worth paying,” said Steve. “We do a lot of Skyping. We do family prayer every night over the computer.”

Although Sarah needed a new heart, her spirit doesn’t need any fixing.

“I try to focus on the positive,” said Sarah. “This is the only thing I’ve ever known. Yeah, I know I’m sick, but I’m me!”

“Sarah is so much stronger than she knows,” said Steve. “You know with five kids I love each one the most, but the relationship with Sarah is a little different just because of the emotional stretching we have to do with her. She means everything.”

Sarah has big plans for when she leaves here with that new heart.

“I want to be a runner,” said Sarah. “Me and my sister have a goal: we’re going to go to New York and run the New York Marathon and then the Boston Marathon.”

With every goal and every dream there comes a few nerves.

“I’m kind of scared because this is the only life I’ve ever known,” said Sarah. “I don’t know what it feels like to have lots of energy and keep going and going and going. So that’s going to be exciting, but really nerve-wracking.”

Last week came the news Sarah’s family had been waiting for.

The whole family was at Primary Children’s celebrating Sarah’s mom’s birthday when the doctor came in with the news they’d been waiting for:

Sarah has a brand new heart.

Sarah has another two months in the hospital then six months in Salt Lake City, but her family is hoping to have her home by Christmas.

To follow Sarah’s journey, visit her blog:

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