Treatment at Phoenix Children's Hospital a 'gift' for Valley girl's family

PHOENIX - You could call Marrah Forgang your typical teenager -- she's kind of shy, loves playing video games and has high school courses and extracurricular activities on the not so distant horizon.

She also plays clarinet and loves to run. She's healthy by all accounts, but in the fall of 2011 she got sick.

Everyone said it was a virus and that the illness would run its course.

"I thought it was a stomach bug because it was going around and it wasn't every day, and it wasn't even all day long.  It was just once in a while," said Marrah's mother, Rachel.

But instead of getting better, Marrah got much worse almost overnight.

Her parents rushed her to the emergency room, only to be told that their daughter's condition was so serious that at any moment she could be close to death.

"She needs life support systems and kind of gave us the odds that there's, you know, there's a 50 percent chance she'll improve and a 50 percent chance she won't," Marrah's father, Marc remembered. "She was definitely scared. She said to me, 'Daddy am I going to die?'  That was tough for me to answer."

Marrah was suffering from congestive heart failure due to a condition known as cardio myopathy, and was essentially on life support.

Doctors at Phoenix Children's Hospital began prepping the pre-teen for a heart transplant.

But as they analyzed her heart, they realized the transplant wasn't necessary after all. They could fix the problem and Marrah would survive.

It was a long road to recovery, filled with a lot of love and support from friends and family and two months ago... Marrah got off the last of about a dozen medications.

The miracle of a full recovery surprised everyone, including the medical professionals who worked so hard to save her life.

"It was a gift. Basically that they were able to fix her and from that point she started to improve immediately," said Marc.

"We knew that Phoenix Children's was doing everything they could and were being very proactive," Rachel agreed. "I'll always be supporting it for the rest of my life because of what they've done."


 

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