Community backs baby who needs heart transplant

Las Vegas Review Journal | Westley Juhl

Jessica Langgin, of acknowledges the crowd after accepting a donation of $1,665 that was collected during the Las Vegas and Green Valley high schools‘ football game at Las Vegas High School on Friday, Sept. 4, 2015. The money is being collected for baby Ellie, who needs a heart transplant. (David Becker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Last week one of Melissa Lim's former students stopped by her class after school and handed her $12.

"This is for your baby," he told the Harney Middle School teacher.

Lim's 5-month-old daughter, Ellie, is 36th on the regional pediatric waiting list for a heart transplant at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA. Ellie was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy of the left ventricle during a routine checkup on Aug. 6. The disease affects the way her heart pumps blood and is life-threatening.

On Friday, the Las Vegas High School football program held a fundraiser for Ellie during a game against Green Valley High School. Donation buckets were passed around before halftime. Harney Middle School teachers and students from the National Junior Honor Society wandered up and down the bleachers selling green roses and wristbands. The color green is meant to represent organ transplant patients.

"I can only imagine what it's like for Miss Lim to have a baby need a heart transplant," Gabrielle Marbaugh, 12, said. "I want to help save someone's life."

Green Valley High School's football program brought a check for $500, which brought the total raised at the game to $1,665. The money was presented to OfficerDown.US, a crowdfunding platform for the law enforcement community, during halftime. Lim's husband, Lee Lim, is a Metro officer. Continue reading