The day a Minnesota girl has been waiting for has finally arrived.
On Sunday morning, 7-year-old Ireland Larson started a 12-hour surgery to receive her new heart. The St. Louis Park native suffers from a heart condition called Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome and has undergone multiple major surgeries and months in hospitals. But on Sunday, her new life began.
In a Facebook post, Ireland’s family wrote: “Update: New heart has arrived and they are placing it now….I pray for the donor family who blessed Ireland with this chance of life. May the donor family be lifted up with some peace knowing their child lives on in our daughter’s life. Our families will forever [be] woven together! Life beats on!!!” Later Sunday, the family posted, “Update: Ireland is back in her room and we just got to see her. She is doing well, pacemaker is helping her heartbeat and the Doctors and Nurses are doing a great job keeping her in a stable place. The next 12+ hours are the most critical and we still need everyone prayers as her new heart is trying to figure out what is going on and we keep all of her other organs happy! Please, please, please continue to keep her in your prayers and a heartfelt Thank you for all the support!”
KARE 11 first introduced the community to Ireland Larson back in May. The child’s joy and humor is infectious, but you could also sense her struggles: her tiny arms remained wrapped in wires at her room at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
Still — Ireland’s spirit captured many hearts, including that of Karl Demer. The music producer and owner of Atomic K Records and Productions produced Zach Sobiech’s “Clouds.” When he read Ireland’s story, he couldn’t help but pen a song for the girl he’d never met.
“Sometimes God will kind of nudge you in one direction or the other and sometimes, like with Zach, and in this instance, he kind of picks you up by the ear, and drags you across the room,” Karl said.
You can download that song, “Send Me An Angel: Ireland’s Song,” with the proceeds going directly to Ireland’s family to help pay for her care. You can also send donations to Wells Fargo Bank at 4400 Highway 61 North, White Bear Lake, MN 55110 in care of “The Ireland Larson Benefit” account. Follow Ireland’s journey on her GiveForward page.