698 beads tell the story of baby’s heart transplant

THE WICHITA EAGLE | Kaitlin Alanis
Liby Peterson with her “Heart Beat” bunny. Just one week before her heart transplant, her original heart’s beat was recorded in the bunny. Courtesy photo

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Liby Peterson with her “Heart Beat” bunny. Just one week before her heart transplant, her original heart’s beat was recorded in the bunny. Courtesy photo

Liby Peterson has a lot of beads. Six hundred and ninety-eight, to be exact.

She has red beads, purple beads, even glow-in-the-dark beads. But two beads – her handmade, glass-heart bead and a bead shaped like a house – stand out.

Liby, of Butler County, was born on Nov. 9 with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a congenital heart defect that affects normal blood flow through the heart.

Since then, she has received a blue bead for every appointment, a black one for every needle poke, glow-in-the-dark beads for each echocardiogram and a yellow bead for every overnight stay in the heart center of St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Because Liby’s heart was so malformed at birth, her parents, Josh and Jill Peterson, learned she was not a candidate for a normal heart repair. Continue reading
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