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6-Year-Old Fighting For Her Life After New Heart Stops Beating

CATONSVILLE, Md. (WJZ) -- A Catonsville family is praying for a miracle. Their daughter, who just received her second heart transplant, is on life support.

Christie Ileto explains how the community is banding together in prayer for six-year-old Teresa Bartlinski.

Teresa was born with a heart condition. When her parents went to China to adopt her, doctors feared she wouldn't make it through the plane ride back to the United States. She did, and now, her parents are hoping for another miracle.

Ed and Ann Bartlinski had been praying for a heart for their six-year-old daughter, Teresa. But after the transplant surgery Tuesday morning, her new heart stopped beating.

"The next 24 hours would be basically monitoring," said Father Christopher Whatley.

Teresa fights for her life at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Father Christopher Whatley is the family's priest and regularly checks in.

"I said, 'Ed, how is Ann and how are you doing?' He says, 'Father, we're surrounded by the best medical services available and we place our trust in God,'" said Fr. Whatley.

Family and friends are praying for Teresa's recovery. She was born with a shortened arm and what is called "hypoplastic heart syndrome," which causes an underdeveloped left ventricle.

"Teresa has needed a heart since she was born practically," said Mary Scavilla, family friend.

The Bartlinskis adopted Teresa from China, and from the number of people praying for her at St. Mark's in Catonsville, it would seem she's been a part of the 11 member family since birth.

"They're desperate for a miracle. We're all desperate for a miracle," Scavilla said.

The family is updating the six-year-old's condition through their blog and Facebook. Teresa's mother, telling WJZ:

"Teresa woke up for five minutes. She squeezed my hand, wiggled her toes and tried really hard to breathe and open her eyes. This is great news. Our girl is fighting hard to live."

Prayers are even coming from strangers across the country, that Teresa's new heart will soon begin beating on its own.

It's unclear just how long Teresa will be on life support.

Family and friends have started a fund for Teresa to help with her medical costs.

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