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2 MN Sisters, 2 Heart Transplant Surgeries

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(credit: CBS) Rachel Slavik
Rachel Slavik joined the WCCO team in October of 2010 and is thrill...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Two young Minnesota sisters share a very special gift: two successful heart transplant surgeries.

For their mother, Linsey Rippy, this Mother’s Day is about routine rather than recognition.

“You just deal with it. What more could I have done? You just take it as it comes,” said mother Rippy, whose 3-year-old daughter, Sydney, is still recovering.

To say the least, few months have been tough on the Rippy family is an understatement. In October, Sydney was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, or an enlarged heart.

“When they sat us down and told us, Sydney’s echo was not normal, I had to leave the room,” said Rippy.

Part of the pain came because history was repeating itself.

“It did shake my faith, quite a bit,” said Noel Rippy, Sydney’s father.

Sydney’s older sister, 6-year-old Madison, suffered the same condition in 2009. Like her younger sister, a heart transplant was the only option and a donor heart was available just 18 hours after Madison was put on the list.

“It’s all a guessing game. We didn’t know we’d make it this far or not,” said Noel.

The successful surgery gave Madison another chance at life. Three weeks ago, Sydney got the same opportunity. Just two days on the donor list, and a heart matched in Texas. Many patients on the donor list wait weeks, even months.

“I don’t know that it’s sunk in, yet, that both my kids have new hearts,” said Rippy.

Recovery and returning home are still months away for Sydney, but with it comes the promise of more Mother’s Day celebrations.

“All things considered, I’d rather sit in a hospital room with my kid than not have her,” said Rippy.

Several fundraisers have been planned to help cover the medical costs for the Rippy Family, if you’d like to help log onto the girls’ Caringbridge.com sites: Madison, Sydney.

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