'Miracle' baby Vikings fan waiting on heart transplant

- A tiny Vikings fan is stealing hearts at University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital. At the same time, two-month-old Shayla Senesac needs a new heart herself.

After more than three years of infertility, Shayla’s parents describe her as their miracle child.

“You’re going to see her heart pound through the jersey because her heart is really wonky,” said Kelly Senesac, Shayla’s mother.

Even before she was born November 20 at just four pounds 13 ounces, doctors knew she had hypoplastic right heart syndrome. The condition prevents her right ventricle from fully forming and causes a lot of extra work for her tiny heart and lungs. 

“Her coronary arteries didn’t attach right either, which is what makes her a candidate for heart transplant,” said Kelly.

“Heart transplant in infants are rare and needing it for Shayla’s type of heart disease she was born with is very rare,” said Dr. Rebecca Ameduri, U of M pediatric cardiologist.

After two months of waiting for a new heart, Kelly and Chad are painfully aware how much parenthood has changed their perspective. 

“As much as we pray for a new heart, we pray for the other family who has to lose their kid,” said Chad Senesac, Shayla’s father.

That’s why they are urging parents, even those with healthy children, to discuss pediatric organ donation just in case doctors someday have to ask.

“I have been in that position before and it’s heart-wrenching for everyone,” said Dr. Nathan Rodgers, U of M pediatric cardiologist.

“Let’s make that decision in clear mind and clear head, so it’s not after the tragedy happens,” said Kelly.

Knowing every day is a gift, Sundays for these dedicated Vikings fans are special time when all three can be together. While they enjoy seeing various Minneapolis miracles both on the field and in person, they are holding out hope for at least one more.

“We are just praying for a miracle and at the same time praying the Vikings go to the Super Bowl,” said Kelly.

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