What's a Heart Worth?


Decatur- Mildred Eynon has been sick since she was a baby. She was born on February 11, 2008 and took on the nickname Millie.

"She was born as cute as a button and she was perfectly healthy as far as we know," her mother Diana Eynon said.

Before she could reach eight months old, Millie turned ill. 

"I saw her heart beat visible through her baby clothing," Eynon said.

Her parents knew something was wrong, so they took her to a Doctor. After the doctor saw Millie, in thirty minutes she had "to be airlifted to St. Louis Children's Hospital because she had heart failure," said Eynon.

However, she continued to grow and medicine helped pull her through. She went to school and spent many days with three people at Garfield Montessori School in Decatur.

"She wasn't allowed to do any physical activity because of her heart condition, so when the class was out at recess we would spend time together," said her kindergarten teacher Sarah Ransdell.

"Millie couldn't participate in PE and my daughter chose not to participate in PE, so the two of them spent a lot of time together," said Tobi Randles.

"Some of those times she came in and couldn't make it to her specials. She had a little relax time either by spending it doing some early elementary one concepts, but through her I was able to spend time with her and get to know her a little better," said Jordan Rahar, a teacher at Garfield Montessori.

Teachers Sarah Ransdell and Jordan Rahar and, Piper's mom, Tobi Randles formed a bond because of Millie. 

"God puts us on this earth to take care of people around us and if we all take care of the people around us, that's what we're supposed to do" Ransdell said.

After fighting for so long, the beautiful blue eyed child wasn't done fighting. Her brain started to hemorrhage and she was having seizures.

"Life didn't make any sense to us anymore when we thought Mildred won't wake up," her mother added. "The doctors didn't have much hope, but we didn't give up hope."

During that time, Randles said she told Ransdell that "we really need to strengthen our prayers and we know that Mildred can do it. . . we can't give up. She's going to get through this."

After another procedure, "she beat all the odds. She woke up. The doctors were afraid her brain would be damaged and it wasn't," Eynon added.

Then she was strong enough to be put on a heart transplant list. After waiting for months, Millie now has a new heart.

"Now life started again when she got the transplant," Eynon said.

"I want to see that girl working on a workspace right next to me and I know that's going to happen sooner than later," Rahar said.

Rahar, Randles and Ransdell started volunteering for the Children's Organ Transplant Association and took on roles to help lessen a burden for a family that has racked up more than a million dollars in medical bills. They have a blog, donation site and many events coming up in the near future for Mildred.

Because she is turning seven on February 11th, February will be Mildred month at Garfield Montessori. The school will sell hearts and they plan to get other Decatur schools involved.  If you want to help the Eynon family, clink on this link http://cotaformilliee.com/node/417. Also, contact the volunteers on the COTA site to see how you can get involved in upcoming events for Mildred.

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