Superior, WI (NNCNOW.COM) --- One in four female deaths in the United States is linked to heart disease.
A Superior family has been hit twice by the disease...and is now fighting for another chance at life.
Heather Krysiak was just 21 years old when she found that she had heart disease.
"I thought in this day and age it would just be easy, they will just give me a pill and I'd be fine. I guess that's not the case," said Heather.
Heather suffered two strokes over the last ten years and spent part of last week recovering from a second open heart surgery.
"I had another ablation where they go into the top part of your heart and they try to catch the a-fibulations that happen."
Heather thought this would be the fight of her life, until she learned that her daughter also had the disease. Now she's battling to save her daughter's life.
"Due to my history and the way it is in my family, they sent her to a child cardiologist and she was diagnosed with it in kindergarten."
"I didn't really realize how bad it was until a couple a couple of years ago," said Heather's daughter, Mara.
After endless doctor visits and hospital stays as a child, Mara learned in high school, that she needed a new heart.
"I didn't know what to do or say. I was like 16, 17 years old and I was like oh my God, my life is ruined," said Mara.
In November Mara's doctor called with good news.
"She goes we got a heart for you, and I think I sat on the phone for two minutes without saying anything."
Mara underwent the transplant that day and now has a new perspective on life.
"I'm gonna do a lot. I'm gonna go to school and get a better job, before I couldn't even do any of that.
Meanwhile Heather will be added to the transplant list in May.
"We're always there for each other because we know exactly how we feel."
"We're a much closer family than we have ever been," said Heather.
Every day the Krysiak's look at a plaque hanging above their door that reminds them how they got through all their struggles. They live, love, laugh and be thankful for what they have.
In Superior, Raeanna Marnati, KBJR 6 and Range 11.
KDLH 3 News.
The Krysiak family is grateful for Mara's heart transplant and wants to stress the importance of organ donation.
Written and posted to the web by Raeanna Marnati