11-year-old completes heart transplant rehabilitation at Blythedale Children’s Hospital

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A young girl is finally headed home after months of therapy at a Valhalla hospital.

Michal Lavi, an Israeli citizen, has been at Blythedale Children’s Hospital since November 2019.

She arrived at Blythedale following a successful heart transplant surgery in New York City. Prior to the procedure, Lavi was born with a rare heart defect that forced her to have a pacemaker implanted at 5 years old.

For unknown reasons, the device failed in May 2019. That led the family to fly to the United States for the tedious surgery.

Luckily, the family received news on Rosh Hashana that a heart had been found.

“…It's like a new beginning and for us, it's a new birthday for Michal,” says mother Tamar Lavi.

Doctors believe she’s come a long way, highlighting her resilience and hard work.

“She came here weak, deconditioned following her heart transplant and a stroke. And she has made tremendous progress,” says Dr. Kathy Silverman of Blythedale Children’s Hospital.

News 12 was told family members have anticipated her discharge day for a while.

“I remember seeing other patients leaving and feeling in my heart like I want to leave too. And finally, it's our moment, and I’m so excited,” says Lavi’s mother.

The 11-year-old will continue rehab at Blythedale Children’s Hospital on an outpatient basis. The family plans to return to their home country with her once the doctors grant permission.

 

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