When the Ravens take the field Sunday against the Oakland Raiders, Olivia Strama will be honored as the Living Legacy Tee Kid of the game. Olivia is a vibrant 9-year-old from Fallston, MD., but she had to overcome an incredible challenge early in her life.
When Oliva was just seven months old, she started to have complications eating. Her mother, Amanda, took her to the hospital and a series of tests revealed that she had Acute Dilated Cardimyopathy.
"I was told she had a one-third chance a medication would help her heart repair itself, one-third chance she would need a heart transplant, and one-third chance I would suffer the most unbearable loss of my life," Amanda wrote in a blog about the experience.
Doctors determined that Olivia would need a new heart, and she was placed at the top of the list for dire patients. Even though she was at the top of the transplant waiting list, the transplant coordinator explained that it could take weeks before finding a match. The possibility also existed that she would never find a match.
But just 12 hours after getting placed on the list, doctors amazingly found a perfect match.
She went into surgery the next morning, and the procedure was a success. She recovered in the hospital for a few weeks before getting released, and now she is healthy, happy girl.
"I owe everything to a stranger who decided to give the biggest gift, a gift that is the hardest to give, a gift of life," Amanda wrote. "The gift of Olivia."
You can save lives like Olivia's by registering as a donor at www.donatelifemaryland.org.