Little girl, big heart hope


DERBY, Kan. (KSNW) – A Derby girl had three open heart surgeries, before she ever celebrated her fifth birthday.

Her mother, Melissa Dodge, said when she thinks of Brooklynn’s future she has so much hope!

Melissa said people often ask her how she has coped with so much in her daughter’s short life, she says she responds by saying Brooklyn is the one doing the hard part.

If you go to the starting point of Brooklynn’s heart story it’s before she was ever even born.

“I have heart problems,” Brooklynn Dodge said.

Brooklynn is living with Hypoplatic left heart syndrome, and was just eight days old when she had her first surgery.

“I do feel really blessed, because I know people that weren’t candidates, for that, because their defects were so bad, so that’s when you know you get placed on the transplant list,” Brooklynn’s Mom Melissa Dodge said.

Brooklynn’s journey has been full of flips and spins.

Melissa said it seemed like every waiver she ever signed for more than 20 procedures, Brooklynn experienced a side effect or symptom that wasn’t mentioned. 

“The fact that she has conquered everything she has conquered to this point, that we will just continue staying the course,” Melissa said.
She also said that path is full of positivity.

“Her prognosis for today is amazing, and there’s no reason tomorrow won’t be amazing,” Melissa said.

Now eight-years-old, Brooklynn is just like many other kids, she loves school, but is really ready for summer.

“I’m going to play in my room and play outside,” Brooklynn said.

There are some things she’s not looking forward to.

“My older brothers kick me out of their room and they always barge in my room just to play the XBOX,” Brooklynn said.

Sounds like pretty typical stuff for a sister to have to deal with, but Brooklynn is tough, she’s dealt with far more than most children.

“She has done so with a smile on her face, and her like zest for life and her joy she carries through the every day, I can’t be anything but emotional,” Melissa said.

Melissa said she’s come so far and isn’t letting a diagnosis slow her down.

“She’s thriving, she’s living with Hypoplastic left heart, but she is thriving,” Melissa said.

Thriving, swinging and singing through life and the heart strong young lady, and her biggest fan, will be celebrating every step soon.

“Getting to go to the Heart Walk and getting to be there and represent our journey and our story, but also hopefully be that little light, like that little light for somebody else and where they are in their story,” Melissa said.

She said it also means so much to see older children, who understand what Brooklynn has been through, doing so well year after year at the walk.

Please join us at the upcoming American Heart Association Heart Walk and FAST 5K on June 8th.

To register or join an existing team visit—> here

You can also check out all the details on Facebook at this line—> here

*Schedule of Events*
7:30 a.m. | Festivities Begin, on the South Practice Field of WSU’s Charles Koch Arena
8 a.m. | F.A.S.T. 5K Begins
9:15 a.m. | Walk Begins 
We will honor survivors of cardiovascular diseases prior to the walk, with a group photo! 

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