PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Valentine’s Day has special meaning, especially for children living with heart disease. 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl has more on a story of love, hope and bravery.

It’s is a Valentine’s Day party filled with hope for a future of love for children at the Cardiac Center of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

“I’m hoping that I can get a heart and go home soon,” said Destiny Pacheco, an 11-year-old who has been living at Children’s Hospital, waiting for six months for a life saving heart transplant.

“It’s hard. I want to go home and play,” said Destiny.

“She just tells me mom I’m just really stressed out. I see kids coming and going, and I’m still here. How long is this going to take,” said Sandra Pacheco, her mother.

The time it takes all depends on finding a compatible donor. The sad reality being someone else has to die, and agree to give their organs.

Valentine’s Day is National Organ Donor Day with the mission to raise awareness and get more people to donate the gift of life.

“It’s hard. I wish there was more donors out there. I wish parents could see what Destiny is going through,” said Sandra.

On this day of love, Destiny is keeping herself distracted with Valentine’s activities.
“I’m going to do some arts and crafts and eat,” said Destiny.

This Valentine’s party is also in recognition of Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Day. It’s the most common birth defect.

“We need people to understand that there is a problem with congenital heart disease. We’ve done a lot with surgery and medicines to treat it. But we still have a lot more work to do,” said Dr. Robert Shaddy, Chief of Cardiology at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Doctors want people to be more aware of children born with heart defects, and to raise money for research to find better treatments, maybe even a cure.

Watch the video…


Become An Organ Donor
Gift Of Life
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Cardiac Center

Reported by Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3

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