Second chance for girl who needed new heart

Nielyn Arnold spent 57 days in hospital

DETROIT – Nielyn Arnold spent 57 days in the hospital. All the 10-year-old wanted was to come home. But in order for that to happen she needed a new heart.

Two weeks after her heart transplant surgery, Nielyn is surprising many with her recovery.

"God told me I was in his hands and I was going to be fine," Nielyn said.

Back in January she went to the emergency room for chest pains. Doctors discovered she had an enlarged heart and restrictive cardiomyopathy, a condition where the heart doesn't pump blood properly.

"That's what caused me to stay in the hospital," Nielyn said.

She ended up on the heart transplant list. On March 11, a family donated a loved one's heart and she had surgery. However, the 10-year-old, who had love for her sister and mother, believed getting some else's heart would change that love.

"I thought that I was going to forget my mom and everything, but after I got the heart I did remember," said Nielyn, wiping away tears.

She documented her journey on video, including when she left the hospital on Good Friday.

Nielyn wears a necklace that says "faith." It sums up how she said she made it this far. She offered the following words to the donor's family.

"It means a lot to me that you guys gave it to me and thank you. I'm happy I'm still living," Nielyn said.