Watch CBS News

6-Year-Old Catonsville Girl Fights For Her Life After Heart Transplant

PHILADELPHIA (WJZ) -- Sad news for a little Baltimore County girl, fighting to survive after a heart transplant. Word from her family that the six-year-old's body rejected the donor heart, nine days after surgery.

They will now have to wait for another transplant.

Mary Bubala has more on her brave battle in a Philadelphia hospital.

Teresa Bartlinski wore her tiara when a new heart was placed in her tiny body nine days ago at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia, but her new heart stopped beating.

A heart lung machine is keeping her alive, and Thursday afternoon, doctors performed a heart catheter to figure out why.

"They are trying desperately to avoid infection so we just continue the prayers," said Fr. Christopher Whatley.

Father Christopher Whatley is the family's priest at St. Mark's in Catonsville. Hundreds of parishioners are praying for Teresa. They've held vigils and many fundraisers for a little girl who the nation has fallen in love with.

Teresa was adopted by Ed and Ann Bartlinski, who already had four adopted children and four of their own.

When they met Teresa at an orphanage in China, they knew she was terminally ill, but they wanted to give her a chance at love and life.

"This little child has an angelic face, and a body that has serious physical limitations," said Fr. Whatley. "But nothing prevents her from doing what she wants to do and when you are in her presence, she's just a beautiful sign of love. And maybe, not maybe, she is God's sign of love for all of us."

Teresa was heavily sedated for Thursday's  procedure. We don't know the results yet. Her parents are updating everyone through Facebook and in a blog.

Family friends have started a fund for Teresa to help with her medical costs. Click here for more information.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.