A little girl suffering complications of a heart transplant died on her Make-A-Wish Foundation trip before she could realize her dream of seeing Walt Disney World.
Mia McDonald, 4, flew with her family from Utah to Tampa, Florida, but took a dramatic turn for the worse when her body rejected her new heart.
After a week in intensive care, the family planned to take Mia off life support on Monday. She made it 2,300 miles from home, but the final 70 miles to the Magic Kingdom proved too much.
The rapid decline in Mia's condition was sudden and unexpected.
Mia's life wasn't easy. Shortly after she was born, it became clear she needed a new heart.
In November 2008, she received a transplant that her parents hoped would allow her to grow up like any normal little girl.
Her heart problems caught the attention of the Make-a-Wish Foundation, which pays for dream vacations and celebrity visits for children with life-threatening or terminal medical conditions.
For Mia, it was an easy decision.
'I think this girl is going to be in Heaven when we go to DisneyWorld. Heaven!' her mother Mimi McDonald wrote on her blog.
When Mia was in the hospital in Jacksonville, she clung to a photograph of Minnie at Disney World holding a sign that reads 'keep fighting Mia.'
The McDonalds left their home in Midway, Utah, on October 2 for the trip to Disney World.
Mia never made it there.
When the family arrived in Tampa, Mia fell ill had to be taken to the hospital.Doctors said she her body was rejecting the heart that had inside her for nearly four years. During a biopsy, she went into cardiac arrest. Doctors were able to revive her, but not before she suffered significant brain damage.
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