Fundraiser held for local teen having open-heart surgery
14-year-old Zandriah Ollison looks like your average teenager on the outside, hanging out with friends and texting on her cell phone, but on the inside lies a problem that is causing her to undergo a major open-heart surgery.
"She has a condition called VSD. Ventricular Septal Defect," said her mother, Shirley Ollison.
VSD means that there are one or more holes in the wall that separates the right and left ventricles in your heart, causing Ollison to suffer from extreme fatigue, shortness of breath and an irregular heartbeat.
"It felt weird because I was the only one who had a different sound, my heart makes a different sound," said Zandriah.
Zandriah's mother says that although this was a tough situation for the family to face, it's actually brought them closer.
"At one while, we were distant. They wouldn't talk to me about anything, now it's just an open relationship."
An open relationship for a mother daughter duo going through similar situations. Shirley is currently suffering from renal kidney failure and needs to raise $5,000 to be put on the transplant list.
To help do so, a local group put on a fundraiser Sunday evening to help make the surgeries possible.
"The times that we live in now, it's a lack of help. Anytime you can find someone to help and reach out, I think that's a great thing to do," said Marva Smith, the CEO of PressPlay Marketing Group, who organized the fundraiser with one of its clients, the Boom A Lot Boyz.
The public came out to enjoy a BBQ complete with candied apples and lots of refreshments to make sure Zandriah's surgery is possible.
"They're going to close that up so she'll have a normal childhood," said Shirley.
"I have a normal heart," said a smiling Zandriah, whose surgery is officially scheduled for May 23rd.
If you would like to make a donation, call Shirley Ollison at 229-310-3546 or the Boom A Lot Boyz at 229-291-3138.