15-month-old baby to get artificial heart at PCH - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

15-month-old baby to get artificial heart at PCH

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PHOENIX -

A baby girl is about to undergo a rare heart surgery at Phoenix Children's Hospital. It's the first time the hospital has performed this potentially life saving surgery on someone so young. 

Mackenzee Armes faces the fight of her life and she's just 15 months old.

"You have to be strong for her, but then yet again, you can't help her," said Lisa DeWitt, Mackenzee's mother.

Mackenzee's parents took her to the emergency room for a fever only to find out she was dying -- diagnosed with dilated cardio myapathy -- her failing heart can't pump blood like it should.

Her parents were then faced with the difficult choice.

"Do we want to let her go or do we want to keep pushing and live her life as long as she can?" said William Armes.

Now Mackenzee and her parents are fighting for every last breath.

It's the day before their baby gets a rare surgery -- an artificial heart -- to buy Mackenzee time while she waits for a real one.

"Without this Berlin Heart they said she's not going to have much longer," said Lisa.

About six out of one million kids will get diagnosed with this disease.  This family of eight says they didn't' notice any signs of a problem until just two months ago.

"I want to go back to the hospital and spend every minute I can with my daughter because they say there's some major risks during this surgery and I'm really scared," said Lisa.

But this family says their little baby is a fighter and they won't be giving up either.

"I would give my heart to her if I could," said Lisa.

Mackenzee will get the surgery through Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) health insurance.  She will go through the six hour surgery Thursday morning.

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