Meet Joanna

Joanna was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a rare congenital disability that affects normal blood flow through the heart. She underwent three open-heart surgeries before going into heart failure at age 3.

Joanna was transferred from her local hospital to Lurie Children’s, where her doctor immediately placed her on the heart transplant list. A few hours later, Joanna received a new heart, thanks to an organ donor.

Joanna is now a vivacious 6-year-old kindergartener who loves to sing and dance and wants to be a chef when she grows up. Her mom, Audrina, said she never thought about Joanna attending school. “Because of all she’s been through, you don’t think about the future the same way,” Audrina says, “It’s almost like a fantasy. Then when it happens, you soak it up as much as you can because you made it to such a big milestone!”

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Why support Lurie Children’s?

As one of the country’s top-ranked children's hospitals, we’re dedicated to giving every child the care and support they need to live better, healthier lives.

Access for all

As a non-profit medical center, our donors help us care for kids who need it most.


We advocate for policies that combat systemic healthcare barriers and increase access to children’s healthcare.

Specialized Care Teams

Our patient care teams include creative arts therapists, child life specialists, interpreters, tutors and teachers.

Full-spectrum support

We strive to address the root causes of child health disparities with support services and financial assistance.