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Sasha's Story

The promise of adopting a dog — combined with your generous support — gave Sasha the strength she needed to fight for her life. See why her story of strength is a love story!
What seemed to be a flu proved to be much more serious. Sasha had inflammation of the heart, and her health was failing. When her heart function fell to 10 percent, her care team discussed adding her name to the heart transplant list. 

But then, Sasha’s condition began to improve. Doctors took her off life support, and her heart resumed beating on its own. 

The next step was intubation, or giving her a breathing tube. This would allow her heart to rest. Dr. Darren Klugman, however, noticed that Sasha’s blood pressure spiked when she tried to talk. 

“He decided that this particular girl would do better without the tube down her throat,” says Marty, Sasha’s dad. “He balanced the rules of heart medicine with what he intuitively understood was best for a 13-year-old girl.”

Sasha spent 18 days in the hospital. When she recovered, her family fulfilled their promise. She felt overjoyed when she got to meet and adopt her very own rescue dog.

Now, 16, Sasha is all smiles when she talks about her best four-legged friend, a boxer mix named Shawty. They’re inseparable! Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, she volunteered with Dr. Bear’s Ambassador Program at the hospital. She loves to visit the doctors, nurses and staff who saved her life.

“Everyone there remembers Sasha,” says Marty, “and of course, they ask about her dog.”

Thank you for being a champion for kids like Sasha. You help kids like her grow up stronger.