News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

January 13, 2013

8-year-old girl waiting patiently for a gift of life

INDIANAPOLIS — Eight-year-old Katelyn Newell sat in a small wheelchair, holding her babydoll, Abby, while at the Riley Hospital for Children Heart Center on Thursday.

She smiled as she “pet” her cat, Tigger, during a video call using iPhone and FaceTime. “Baby — come here baby,” Katelyn said to the cat, which was back at her home in Terre Haute.

“Did that make your day?” asked her dad, Scott Moody, also in Terre Haute and at the other end of the video call. He tried to hold the cat so that Katelyn could see him.

Katelyn’s mom, Robin Newell, was right there, pushing the wheelchair and pulling the IV pole that carries Katelyn’s heart medicine. The 8-year-old also wears a heart monitor and can’t leave the floor.

Katelyn, who was born with complex congenital heart disease, is back at Riley, this time for an extended stay.

In late August, as the little girl’s health continued to deteriorate, Riley cardiologists decided it was time to get the process started for a transplant.

And now, Katelyn — and her family — are waiting for a donor heart.

An extended stay at Riley

Katelyn began her most recent stay Jan. 4, her mom said.

“It’s going well. When she’s got this medication running through her body, she eats more, and you can tell she’s more active,” Robin said.

The IV treatments at Riley used to keep Katelyn feeling good and healthy for about five or six weeks, but now she starts weakening after about three weeks, her mom said.

Despite being away from home, family, school and her cats, Katelyn’s spirits remain high.

“I think she is doing really great. It doesn’t seem to be phasing her,” Robin said. “She is excited. She’s ready for a new heart.”

Since her most recent stay began, Katelyn has been feeling better, eating more and has gained 3 pounds; she was up to 42 pounds Friday.

The nurses and doctors at Riley “are great,” Robin said. Also, volunteers have come in to read to Katelyn, tell stories and play with her; the floor has its own playroom.

No one knows when the transplant will happen. It could be a matter of hours, days, weeks or longer. Katelyn has five brothers at home, and it will be difficult for the family while the 8-year-old and her mother are away.

Robin plans to stay with Katelyn through the week, and return home weekends to be with her sons. “It’s hard on me because I go home and then I have to leave them,” she said. But likewise, it’s hard to leave her daughter at the hospital.

Other family, including grandparents, are helping make it manageable. Also, on Tuesday and Wednesday last week, Newell’s cousin, Kari Gardner, stayed with Katelyn while Robin had to be in Terre Haute.

The reality of the situation probably hasn’t kicked in for the boys “because we haven’t been gone that long,” Robin said.

As for the mother, “I’m staying strong for Katelyn.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local & Bistate
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Human Antidepressants Making Shrimp Too Calm Swiss Unveil New Solar Plane for Global Flight
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity