'Miracle girl' born with 'twisted' heart saved by transplant at 3 months old

Billings Gazette | Zach Benoit
Photo: Larry Mayer

At first, 2-year-old Aavah Mangus was more comfortable in a hospital than at home with her family. She spent most of the first half of her life in medical centers due to a heart defect, and eventually underwent a heart transplant when she was just 3 months old.

"She was more familiar with the staff there than her family," said Aavah's mother, Amber Mangus. "When she was home, she would just cry so much. All I could do was hold her."

Seeing Aavah today — a curious little girl with big brown eyes and looping rings of short brown hair — it's difficult to tell that the girl has already dealt with more serious medical issues than most people do by the time they're 40.

When Amber Mangus was 20 weeks pregnant with Aavah, she and her husband, Brandon, learned that their daughter had a heart condition. Continue reading
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