Pittsburgh Girl Born With Heart Defect Helps Fellow Patients

MT. PLEASANT (KDKA) — A local patient being treated at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus got a chance to help out other patients today.

Makenzie Rugg, 4, got a chance to go on a shopping spree at the Big Lots store in Mount Pleasant.

“I think it is a great cause; I hope it continues,” said Kristi Rugg, Makenzie’s mom. “I hope the support is amazing, and like I said, I hope it continues every year.”

Rugg was born with a life-threatening heart defect, called right hypoplastic heart disease.

She had open heart surgery when she was very young to help her heart pump blood more efficiently to her lungs.

She’ll have to continue to have surgeries throughout her life to replace a synthetic blood vessel that helps her heart pump more normally.

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The shopping trip was part of the Give 4 Kids campaign. Ohio-based retail chain Big Lots organized the shopping trip, along with Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

“This is a five-week campaign,” said David Campisi, the CEO and president of Big Lots. “We started it last year. The company raised $2.2 million, all of that money went to the hospital. We will continue to do this, hopefully, forever for the hospital because it is all about our kids.”

The items that were purchased will be given to Rugg’s fellow patients.


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