For Louisiana teen Emily Sanchez, 2014 has been the best year of her life so far. First, she finally got her new heart, Emily had been waiting over a year on the transplant list as a result of her life-threatening condition; and second, her wish to meet Justin Timberlake was recently granted by Kids Wish Network.
In 2010, Emily began suffering from heart palpitations. Doctors conducted an echocardiogram and stress test on the 8th grade student; the results were devastating, Emily couldn’t walk for more than two minutes without stressing her heart. An angiogram confirmed she had congenital heart disease and a heart malformation. Over the next few years she had a defibrillator implanted, and in late 2012, was told she was in heart failure.
Emily was immediately placed on the heart transplant list, but to make matters worse, Emily has a rare blood type that makes finding a suitable match even harder. The teen waited over a year for a new heart, and fortunately, one was matched in early 2014.
One thing that always kept Emily smiling throughout her waiting game was listening to music from teen heartthrob Justin Timberlake. All her waiting paid off as Emily received her new heart and recently got to meet the superstar thanks to children’s charity Kids Wish Network.
Emily got to rock out at Timberlake’s “20/20 Experience” in New Orleans where she met the star before the concert. Her wish included a mother/daughter day before with lunch at Bravo! Cucina Italiana and a shopping excursion curtsey of Lakeside Shopping Center. Emily and her family dined at Palace Café before the amazing concert.
“Thank you Kids Wish Network for granting this wish for my Emily,” writes her mother Jennifer. “It was truly a dream come true, she had a wonderful time.”
“Thank you all so much!” adds Emily. “It was amazing.”
Emily is currently in good health after her heart transplant. She is looking forward to experiencing everything she missed out on while her heart was failing.
Kids Wish Network is a Florida-based charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experienced life-altering situations.