4-year-old girl facing 43rd surgery

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DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) – She’s just 4-years-old but little Nadia Grimes has already gone through more than 40 surgeries.

She’s a fighter and she keeps beating the odds.

Nadia is now getting ready for surgery number 43 later this month.

Time has been a formative friend for Nadia.

We first met her in 2016 when she was 16-months-old.

She had been diagnosed with a vascular ring, an abnormal formation of the aorta. The congenital heart problem led to a series of surgeries.

Time kept ticking towards a Make-A-Wish trip to Disney last year. Now, Nadia is four.

“She is doing really well right at the moment,” Christina Grimes, her mom said. 

The surgeries keep coming. Just last month, the Grimes family was at the Mayo Clinic so Nadia could have surgeries number 41 and 42.

“The last surgery that they just did, they put a balloon catheter in to open up the artery. It worked. Not as well as they’d like though,” Christina said. 

Back to Mayo at the end of this month for surgery number 43 and counting.

“Mayo said that she could possibly have 5-10 more. They just don’t know for sure,” Christina said.

Christina says it is important that time keeps ticking and Nadia continues to get stronger because another surgery to repair the vascular ring is in her daughter’s future.

“It’s not holding. It actually where it is collecting scar tissue all around it and it’s actually stretching as she is growing. It is stretching like a rubber band,” Christina said.

Christina says what Nadia has to endure is tough on the entire family and says at times it is hard to put on the brave face she knows her daughter needs.

“There are days I cry myself to sleep. Only thing that helps is talking about it,” Christina said.

As hard as things are with constant trips to Mayo and 42 surgeries, she is happy her daughter is still alive.

Christina says they’re not in this alone.

She says they’ve gotten a lot of support from family and friends, along with the American Heart Association and other groups committed to helping families who have loved ones facing chronic health issues.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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