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12-Year-Old Girl On List For Heart Transplant Performs With Her Favorite Broadway Star

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – At just 12 years old, a hopeful South Florida girl on a heart transplant list is optimistic that she will find a match and undergo a lifesaving operation. But before that happens, she was able to make one of her dreams come true. She got to perform with one of her favorite Broadway stars.

While Tatiana Caicedo battles for her life, she's living her best life.

She joined Broadway star Laura Benanti's Sunshine Concert Series, which was created during the pandemic to allow kids to perform.

"When I sing or when I play the ukulele or play the piano, I listen to it, I feel happy," Tatiana said. "It makes me not feel so cranky or sad."

"Anytime she needed any procedures done, they always called music therapy so that we could be there," explained Stephanie Epstein, Tatiana's music therapist. "Music just always helped her really zone in and really be able to tolerate her procedures with so much less stress and anxiety."

Tatiana has lived with a heart condition her whole life. She's a resilient little girl able to get through it all with her team.

"When I feel scared or when I'm sad or when I'm upset because of what happened, they talk to me and they tell me it's OK," she said.

Doctors have kept her stable, but in January she had heart failure. So the team of Jackson Health made a decision to do a procedure that is uncommon for kids. It worked.

"Obviously, you know, she was very scared. The mom was very scared. After the surgery, they really get everything together and now she's doing very well," explained Dr. Paolo Rustoni.

The procedure will allow Tatiana to be at home, and she's at the top of the list to get a heart transplant.

"She is out of this world," said Tatiana's mother, Paola Rodriguez. "She's really a strong."

Tatiana's mother said that actually for a few minutes after she was born, Tatiana died and they had to bring her back to life.

She's a brave girl who in these times can certainly serve as an inspiration for all of us.


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