Time running out for little Amy Miller

2015-10-16 09:35
Amy Miller rests in hospital after being admitted yet again. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

Amy Miller rests in hospital after being admitted yet again. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

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Durban - Amy Miller, the 5-year-old girl diagnosed with a rare heart condition, is running out of time and desperately needs the public’s help to spread the word of her plight.

Amy was diagnosed with complex cardiac abnormalities before birth and has since survived three open heart surgeries - having her first operation at 6-days-old and the next when she was just 4 months.

“At a routine scan when I was 20 weeks pregnant, we were told that our baby’s heart was not developing properly and that it would have to be watched closely,” said Amy’s mother Natasha Miller.

Speaking to News24, Miller said her daughter’s condition was now deteriorating at a much faster rate.

Meds not working as well as expected

The young girl was admitted to hospital last week and was discharged on Monday.

“The doctors expected her current medication to get her to her teens at the very least but she is now experiencing far more difficulty than expected.”

Miller said she was making an urgent call to everyone to assist her by spreading the word of her daughter’s condition.

“While her medication helps, it also leaves her with pain in her legs. This is also because of her slow heart rate. We are now getting oxygen at home to help this.

“I just want people to know that she is an innocent child who just needs a chance at living her life. A new heart is what she needs and we are praying every day for this. We obviously do not want to wish any harm to anyone else, but if people hear about an available heart we appeal to you to get in touch with us.”

Miller said her family came close to receiving a heart recently.

“Unfortunately, it was far too damaged. Amy also has a rare blood type, B-positive. We’ve taken her rare blood type and made it something fun for her, encouraging her to be positive.”

Has developed cardiomyopathy

Amy's doctor, Otto Thaning, previously told News24 that her only hope was a heart transplant. This was because of the complexity of her congenital cardiac anomalies.

“Presently she needs treatment for progressive heart failure. As a result of her cardiac condition she is unable to get enough oxygen into her circulating blood and is becoming cyanosed [turning blue].

She has developed a significantly progressive and irreversible cardiomyopathy [abnormal heart muscle],” Thaning said.

More information on Amy’s condition and how she can be helped are available at heartkids.co.za. You can also contact the Organ Donation Foundation on 0800 22 66 11 Mon - Friday 09:00 - 16:00 and 084 741 9484 after hours.

- Health24: Heart transplants - an overview

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