'Wish' granted, SA girl hopeful about her future

Francey Childress gets to be like any other kid - she just happens to have a heart condition


When Francey Childress looks back on the trip to San Diego's comic convention she took in July, it reminds her of the very special treatment she received, thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

"This was the My Little Pony Comic-Con exclusive," said the 12-year-old.

Hasbro gave her access to its toys, actors who voice the creatures for cartoons and more.

It was a bright day for the girl who two years ago had surgery to replace her heart. Francey inherited genetic dilated cardiomyopathy - a heart condition her father also had.

"It was harder to deal with my children having it than it was for me to have it," said Francey's father, Jay. "That decked us."

When the Foundation reached out, the family was happy to pack up for the fantasy trip.

"They take away the worries of 'Can we afford to do this? Can we get away from the hospitals," Jay said. "(It) let (Francey) take time out and say, 'Okay, it's time to be a kid again,' because what she went through made her grow up quick."

Oct. 9 was the two year anniversary of Francey's surgery. She returned to the hospital this week for an important test.

"They take a little teensy part of your heart and just take it out and see if there's any rejection near it," said Francey. "We got an absolute zero. A zero means there's almost none, but an absolute means your body is actually adopting your new heart instead of trying to eat it."

Francey's mother celebrates that result and more. "On her anniversary date, we make sure we say prayers and not only celebrate her life, but we celebrate the donor's life because without them, she would't be here," said Sandy Childress.

Through it all, Francey knows one thing for sure. "Never stop giving up on trying to get a heart," Francey said. "If I had given up, I probably wouldn't be here."

KSAT 12 will host a phone bank to help the Make-A-Wish Foundation. People can donate money and airline miles to help cover costs associated with the special trips.

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