This article first appeared In the Loop August 27, 2015
"Are you going to fix Aria's broken heart?" Noah, age 3, and Tristan, age 5, ask their sister's doctors. "They know Aria is really sick," says mom, Tara Grams. It's all still hard for Tara and her husband, Josh, to believe. "We were blindsided," she says. And the last three months have been a whirlwind.
Aria seemed healthy when she celebrated her first birthday back on May 20. Nine days later, however, she "went into cardiac arrest and collapsed," reports the Superior Telegram. Tara performed CPR until an ambulance arrived. Aria was brought to a hospital in Duluth, Minnesota, where an ultrasound "revealed Aria had an enlarged heart." She was then airlifted to a hospital in Minneapolis and "diagnosed with restrictive cardiomyopathy," according to the newspaper. Later, she was also diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, and in early June developed heart failure. Aria was then placed on "a modified heart-lung machine called an ECMO" (short for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation), which provides temporary heart and lung function. Read the rest of Aria's story.