At just three years old, Zoey Jones has lived through more than most of us. Because of a rare congenital heart defect that causes her heart to not pump enough blood to her lungs, she's had 13 surgeries--her first at just three months old--and has experienced five strokes and seven cardiac arrests.
"She's spent more than half of her life in the hospital," said her mother, Tori Goddard, in a video released by the Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, last week.
But finally, after a tough journey, the family has gotten some positive news.
Told recently that Zoey would need a dual heart and lung transplant--a rare procedure made more difficult by a lack of pediatric donors--the family was shocked to find out that after a number of tests, doctors had realized something no one was expecting: A plug could help relieve blood pressure on the arteries in her lungs. That meant that not only did she no longer need a lung transplant, once her lungs were healthy and stabilized, doctors would also be able to operate to redirect blood flow to her heart--thereby saving her from the heart transplant as well.
The operations went so well that Zoey was home in 10 days rather than the expected two months, and she has since begun walking--something doctors once told her mother she'd never be able to do.
Hear more about Zoey's courageous battle--and positive prognosis--in this short video.
ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos
Your life just got exponentially better and more stylish now you've signed up for our newsletter. Fabulousness awaits!