Anna's "Special Heart"

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An East Tennessee girl is about to embark on another leg of a life long journey of battling congenital heart disease.

Here name is Anna Cole and she's going to Michigan for her fourth surgery in just four years.

Beating the Odds
On May 6th 2002, a little girl named Anna Cole was born into the world.

"He stepped in and said 'first I want to congratulate you, you have a beautiful baby girl, but there a few things I need to tell you about her,'" says Pastor Kevin Cole, Anna's father.

"Anna's heart had both her pulmonary arteries and aorta on her right side and they were transposed around. She had a bad valve, a hold in her heart," says Anna's Mother, Nancy Cole.

Four years and three surgeries later Anna is bubbly and full of life.

Her only setback is that she tires easily. However, the good news is, her upcoming surgery should change that.

"This one is to prelate her pulmonary valve," her father explains.

The bad news: even at number four, it won't be her last surgery.

"This is something they will have to do periodically because they don't grow with her," explains Nancy.

And, more surgeries mean more expenses, something that doesn't come easy on a pastor's salary.

"You always look up and see that God provides," says Pastor Cole.

Anna knows she has a "special heart" and that she's having another operation to fix it.

"I'm scared," says Anna.

At first she was also a bit confused on how doctors would make her better, but understands it now. "They are going to use a special tool to get into my heart," she says.

"Then what are they going to do?" asks Volunteer TV's Stacy McCloud.

"I'm going to be all done," the little girl replies.

What her parents pray she'll also grasp one day is how a community has held them up along the way.

"That people will shed tears for your child, and pray beautiful prayers, and send love to her and think about her and worry about her, it's more than you can explain to people what it means," says Pastor Cole.

Help with Mounting Medical Expenses
If you'd like to help the family, all they ask for are prayers, but church members have an account set up to help for their mounting expenses.

If you would like to donate to help Anna's parents with out of pocket expenses, you can make checks to:

Fincastle United Methodist Church
Care of: The Peoples National Bank
P.O. Box 1436
Lafollette, TN 37766
Attention: Ken Bailey

To track Anna's progress as she heads into surgery on October 4th and the days following, the University Of Michigan has a website you can visit. Go to, create a free account, and then type in "annawren".