It’s easy to look at your own life and only notice the bad things in the moment. The house is a mess, money is tight, the kids aren’t getting along, etc. But then you see another person’s story and you’re often humbled by how much they’re going through and how enormous their current obstacle must be.
1-year-old Arora “Rori” Shane, for instance, has spent much of her life in the hospital since her birth in the month of July due to the fact that she suffers from a congenital heart defect that is threatening her future. Her mother, Jen, has taken to social media out of desperation in the hopes of uncovering a miracle for her daughter. Rori’s only hope, however, lies in a heart transplant, but the difficulty in finding one small enough to suit her tiny body has become quite a scary challenge. (1, 2)
Rori’s Search For A New Heart
Heart donors are hard to come by, but they get all the harder to find the smaller the heart has to be. Even adults with common blood types and otherwise healthy bodies end up having to wait out desperate hopes and endless hospital visits before they’re able to find a suitable heart donor (if they ever do find one).
A post on the Hope for Rori Facebook page explained Rori’s dilemma, saying “Because of her size she has not received many offers. Blood type and weight are a key factor, a donor who weighs 20-50 pounds is needed and her blood type is A+.” Finding a heart with these specifications is incredibly difficult, meaning Rori’s chance for survival was slim. (1, 2)
While Rori’s mother, Jennifer Shane, understood that sharing her child’s story on social media in order to find a heart for her baby was indeed a long shot, she’d heard firsthand stories where social media posts and awareness advocates resulted in immense success, so she couldn’t help but try it. Only recently did we hear a story of Susie Rabaca, a cancer-sick mother pregnant with twins who was able to find a bone-marrow donor after a social media plea for help. It was hope in stories like these that lead Jennifer to posting about Rori, hoping that the right person might see it if her request for help was thoroughly shared.
So Jen posted on social media, saying, “Sharing this on social media is a long shot but it has worked and after living in the hospital for almost two years with Rori, I’ve heard firsthand of these stories. So I’m here bare bones about my daughter and her story to strangers which is not an easy thing but if this finds her a heart I would do it a million times over.” (1, 2, 3)
In the Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, time was truly of the essence for little Rori. As of December 1st, 2018, Rori had been on a heart transplant waiting list for 200 days, not putting her at very good odds for a long life. A GoFundMe page had been set up for the family in order to help cover the cost of medical bills and expenses, but as Christmas approached, Rori and her mother had little else to do but pray for a miracle. (1, 4)
After many months spent in hospitals, waiting for a donor, and seemingly trying everything to find hope, on December 13th, 2018, the Facebook status for Hope for Rori was updated to this:
“She has a match!!! Rori is getting a heart tomorrow!!! I’m so happy I can’t even think! …Rori’s heart failure has been worsening by the minute and after they discovered the clot in her femoral artery everything really got scary. Hearing the absolute joy, excitement & relief in Jennifer’s voice as she’s telling me the news through tears was truly one of the best moments of my life. I’m ecstatic for Rori and her parents! …This is genuinely a Christmas miracle!! Thank you all so much for giving this amazing family your support, prayers, good vibes all of it. SHE’S FINALLY GETTING A HEART!!!” (1, 5)
This kind of news is unimaginably good, especially after the many health scares, worsening heart failure, and the endless waiting for both Rori and Jen. While this is in no way the final step for Rori since she certainly has a long road of recovery ahead, her surgery went as well as could have, her new heart is beating strong, and she is currently in a recovery and rehabilitation process. Continue sending Rori and her mom, Jen, your prayers and good thoughts as they work through this time of recovery!