Four years ago, Las Vegas teenager Brienna was diagnosed with heart failure. She was immediately transferred by Life Flight helicopter from her local hospital to Primary Children’s Hospital, where her family learned the devastating news – she needed a heart transplant.

On Sept. 7, 2016, Brienna received her new heart.

“Primary Children’s is our family,” said Brienna’s father T.J.  “They saved our daughter’s life – the doctors, nurses, all of the staff. We are so grateful for the care they gave our daughter, and we remain closely connected.”

Brienna’s care team includes a range of professionals from child-life specialists to nurses who she would regularly have “tea time” with, to social workers who assisted in securing a long-term stay for Brienna’s family at the Ronald McDonald House.

“When you walk through the doors, you just feel safe. You feel like everything will be okay,” said Brienna’s mom, Raquel.

At Brienna’s request, she and her family continue to make the trip from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City for all her checkups.

“We go back and forth to checkups one to two times a year, and I choose to go all the way to Primary Children’s because I want to,” Brienna said. “They are family.”

Today, 15-year-old Brienna enjoys playing the ukulele, singing and dancing. Prior to the pandemic, she loved dancing with her high school dance team.

Primary Children’s is continuing to expand its highly specialized services, to make it easier for patients like Brienna to receive high quality care closer to home. This year in Las Vegas, Primary Children’s launched pediatric neurosurgery services with Dr. Taryn Bragg who sees patients at two convenient office locations, with surgeries performed at Sunrise Hospital. Want to help more kids like Brienna? Make a donation today.