Young Humble woman with mechanical heart inspiring others

HUMBLE, Texas (KTRK) -- February is 'Heart Month,' and one young Humble woman is proving she has a whole lot of heart, even if hers is failing.

Kierra Hill is alive thanks in part to an incredible new technology called the LVAD, or Left Ventricle Assist Device. It's basically a heart pump that's helping to keep her alive.

The miniature pump is implanted in the lower left chamber to help the heart pump enough blood to other organs in the body.

For patients with congestive heart failure, it can be their only chance of survival without a heart transplant. Hill must wear and carry around a five-pound battery pack, but has been able to return to her normal everyday activities.

This isn't Hill's first medical battle. She had cancer when she was just 8 years old. While she beat the disease, the chemotherapy treatments damaged her heart.

Last year, she started struggling to walk and even breath. Her doctors at Memorial Hermann Hospital are working to get her on the transplant list.

In the meantime, the LVAD is buying her time and a high quality of life. In addition to taking college classes, Hill works as a camp counselor for childhood cancer patients and survivors.

She is raising money for her own heart transplant and other recipients around the country. To help, visit www.cotaforkierrakeke.com.

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