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TJC Shows Heart


Like any other day, Alix woke up to get ready for school and see her friends.  Little did she know, this day would change the rest of her life. She got out of bed feeling nauseous, and started putting on her makeup when suddenly she blacked out. 

Moments later she woke up on the floor, facing the ceiling, unable to move.  She couldn’t stand up let alone speak, so panic started to set in.  Frantically thinking of a way to alert her parents that she had passed out, Alix grabbed her high-heeled shoe and tossed it at the door.

Luckily her father had not left for work yet and found his daughter when he went to investigate the thud.  Alix was quickly whisked to ETMC where doctors desperately tried to stabilizer her.  After days in the ICU, her body, aside from her kidneys, was finally stable and she was able to see a heart specialist from Dallas.  

“I kind of just take it and roll with it,” said Alix.  She is continually upbeat and positive in her outlook toward an unfortunate situation.  

After extensive blood work and tests, Alix was diagnosed with a rare heart disease called Restrictive Cardiomyopathy

“In Restrictive Cardiomyopathy, the heart is of normal size or only slightly enlarged. However, it cannot relax normally during the time between heartbeats when the blood returns from the body to the heart,” according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Even after receiving her heart transplant, Alix, now 18, is facing a lifetime expenses and medical costs.  Insurance doesn’t cover all of her medication that she’ll need so fundraising is a necessity. 

“I’ll still have lots of medicine to take.  For a while I’ll still have to be careful, but after I get it, I will start to be able to do more; I’ll just have to deal with gaining my muscles back,” said Alix.

The Children’s Organ Transplant Association or COTA is an organization that handles all of Alix’s money to ensure that every cent donated toward her transplant is spent specifically for medical reasons.  So far over $30,000 has been raised toward Alix’s transplant.  

Tyler Junior College is attempting to help Alix.  The Student Leadership Class at TJC traditionally picks a child from the “Make-A-Wish Foundation,” but this year they decided to help one of their own. Mainly focusing on community involvement, the Leadership Class is hitting the ground running through fundraising and other kinds of publicity.  They’ve made a goal of $35,000, to bring Alix’s totally amount to $65,000; they hope to meet by the end of the semester.  The class is selling snow cones, brisket sandwiches, hosting a walk-a-thon and getting as many community supporters as it can.

“I’ve never had a leadership class that never met their goal, in all the years I’ve been teaching,” said Don Blaine, Professor – Business Management.

Alix got out of the hospital almost a year ago and has been waiting on a heart ever since.  Her one-year date is coming up, Nov. 12, and the call for a heart could literally come at any minute.

“I’ve never seen her not have a positive outlook this whole time,” said Vickie Reid, co-chair for the community organization for COTA.

Luckily, Alix has an extremely loving family.  Helping the anxiety of waiting on her heart go by easier; they’ve been positive the entire time and support her any way they can.  

“They’re just a real humble family.  They’ve been trying to do this basically on their own without disturbing anybody else.” said Clinton Pruitt, a leadership class student.

For more information on Alix and how to donate, call either Don Blaine 903-510-2595; Vickie Reid 214-862-6708; or go directly to http://www.cotaforalixv.com for direct donations.  Be sure to include TJC in the Affiliated Company, so Alix and her family will know where the donations are coming from.


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