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Family surrounds baby with love as she waits for new heart

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington family says the happiest day of their life took a turn for the worse when they found out their newborn baby would have to struggle to survive.

On November 19, 2011, Hannah Dombrowski was born. Hannah was six weeks premature but her dad David says the family was thrilled to have their baby girl early. The new family was excited to take Hannah home, then they received bad news.

“They had found a tumor on her heart and they rushed her to Duke by ambulance with her mother Audrey,” Dombrowski said.

Doctors found an inoperable tumor on Hannah’s heart and told the family the only option they had was a transplant. Hannah has to stay at the hospital until a new heart is found so she can be monitored by doctors. Dombrowski says his family is working to remain as normal as possible during these stressful times.

“Right now, they have her in a room at Duke on the 5th floor where we are able to stay in the room with her,” said Dombrowski. “But it’s one bed and a chair. We’re able to stay with our daughter and be there for her and spend as much time with her as we can. We’re just trying to be as normal as a family as we can be with our daughter given the conditions we have and cherish everyday and every moment that we have with her.”

Dombrowski says Hannah was put on the transplant list in February. Now, the family waits. He says Hannah is in the fight of her life and he wants everyone to know how amazing his daughter is.

“We’re kind of at the beginning of a long race,” said Dombrowski. “It’s not necessarily a sprint, it’s a marathon. The more people we get the share Hannah’s story with or the more people that are thinking of her and praying for her. We’re proud of our daughter. We want everyone to know about her.”

David Dombrowski and the organization “Hannah’s Heart” will be at the Big Buddy Shootout Saturday at the Schwartz Center at CFCC. Doors open at 2 pm and everyone is invited to attend the event to learn more about Hannah and donate funds to go toward her medical care.

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