KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — Kingsport 11-year-old Filicia Mc Euen describes her experience waiting for a heart transplant in one word: “long.”
She’s been hospitalized at Vanderbilt University Medical Center since August when she came in for a change to her pacemaker’s batteries. Doctors decided the Colonial Heights resident needed around-the-clock care and eventually a new heart when the right side of hers stopped working.
But her parents Giraldine and Gregory Mc Euen aren’t able to join her in Nashville yet. Gregory was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer in 2018, leaving Giraldine to balance caring for her husband and her daughter.
“It’s kind of hard because we are juggling around, and we don’t know, when it’s the right time for us,” Giraldine told News Channel 11.
Mc Euen, her mother-in-law and other relatives are taking turns spending time in Nashville with Filicia. Now, they’re waiting on the call that could save Filicia’s life.
“It could happen in the middle of the night, in the middle of the day, who knows,” Giraldine said.
Filicia was born with holes in her heart and has struggled through surgeries and hospital stays for years.
“I remember when my daughter told me that mom, “I wish I got my heart that way I’d be a healthy and a regular kid that can play with other kids,” Giraldine said.
Filicia isn’t letting the waiting bother her too much; however, she still loves singing and hopes someday to be on America’s Got Talent.
“It gets boring sometimes,” Filicia said. “But I have Lego sets to play with and I get to play with my aunt. That’s pretty good.”
Both Giraldine and Gregory see their experiences as inspiration to help others.
Giraldine has enrolled in nursing school and expects to graduate in May.
“Because [of] everything that has happened, I think maybe I have a new calling on life,” Gregory said. “I think that maybe it’ll be something in the area of health, or thereabouts where I can help people, either that are in these dire type of circumstances, or that need help getting through these kinds of terrible things.”