Subscribe to the Newspaper
View the Online Newspaper
Search: Site   Web
Photo submitted by Veronica Renteria
Xena Janelle Begay is an 8-year-old Barstow resident in need of a heart transplant. Xena is currently on a holding list for a new heart, as her family tries to raise the money needed for house fixtures essential to Xena's health after the transplant.

Girl, 8, in need of heart transplant

STAFF WRITER

BARSTOW • Eight-year-old Xena Janelle Begay needs a heart transplant, and her family needs help building a healthy home for Xena in the aftermath.

Lifelong Barstow resident Veronica Renteria is a single mother of two, Xena and 10-year-old Meleena. When Xena was 5, a visit to the dentist revealed that Xena had heart problems that needed to be addressed immediately.

“It started with a dentist appointment,” Vernonica Renteria said. “She had to go to Loma Linda to get put to sleep so they could work on her teeth. And that’s how it was detected, they check you everywhere to make sure that your body is OK to get put to sleep. It was actually a blessing in disguise for me to find out.”

At 8 years old, Xena has already been through two pacemakers. The first pacemaker was installed a couple of months after the discovery of Xena’s heart condition. 

After two years, doctors decided Xena was in need of a more advanced pacemaker, and she underwent surgery once again at age 7. The new pacemaker still didn’t help, however.

“Every time they check it there’s no change,” Renteria said. “So they told me to start putting her on the new transplant list. The transplant list for a new heart. Because nothing’s happening.”

In addition to Xena’s medical needs, Renteria faces new financial challenges with her daughter needing a heart transplant. In order to get Xena on the list, Renteria must install a central air conditioner in her home, as the swamp cooler currently installed at the residence could be harmful to Xena’s health after the transplant.

“They said they have to take her off the list and put her on a temporary hold until we get that taken care of,” Renteria said. “And once that’s taken care of she’s going to go back on the list and wait for her heart to come. But right now that’s the main thing holding us back.”

The family has started a fundraising campaign at www.giveforward.com in an attempt to raise the money required for the needed fixtures to be installed at Xena’s home.

“The thing that amazes me about her is that she is so much stronger than I ever thought she would be,” Renteria said. “She knows the situation. She’s asked me a lot of questions, and I’m really honest with her.”

Renteria said that Xena’s positive attitude, smile and laugh helps keep her strong as the journey to get a new heart for her daughter continues.

“I sing,” Xena said. “I like to be with my friends. And I like to dance.”

To donate to the fundraising effort for Xena’s heart transplant, visit www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/bnj3/xenasjourneytoanewheartandanewlife.


See archived 'News' stories »
 
Ads by Google


Profile Skills
50% off Learning Style Assessment
Weather
ADVERTISEMENT 
ADVERTISEMENT 
Poll