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Little Cambrie’s heart surgery

Updated: Wednesday, July 9 2014, 10:20 AM EDT
Little Cambrie’s heart surgery  story image
STANDISH (WGME) – CBS 13 followed the journey of a little Maine girl, as she gets another chance at life.

There are many people "making a difference" for a Standish family.

Viewers may remember the story earlier this spring on two families brought together by tragedy and hope.  

One family lost a child. 

The other was given a chance at life by their generous donation.

Now, there is a new chapter to the story.  

Cambrie Gadbois Cates undergoes more heart surgery, that is truly "making a difference" in her life.

The last time we saw these families, they were meeting each other for the first time.
Once they discovered little Cambrie in Maine was the recipient of the heart valve donated by the family of baby Eli from Arkansas, nothing could keep them apart.

In a true testament to the bond that has formed since, the families are together again, this time, going through Cambrie's follow up heart surgery,
The McGinley’s from Arkansas flew back to Maine to support Cambrie's family.

The heart valve Cambrie received at birth helped to save her life but it was always a given she would have follow up surgery to repair the hole in her heart.

They are doing that and also removing a temporary band on her pulmonary artery.
The first time Cambrie received open heart surgery, she was just days old. 

The family has waited for 18 months to complete the next phase, giving her heart time to grow so the defect is more visible.

It will take several steps.   Dr. Quinn opens the heart and after several hours, completes step one.

Dr. Jon Donnelly is Cambrie's cardiologist.

It takes an extensive cardiac team to pull off these surgeries.

The hope is that once the temporary band is removed from Cambrie's artery, the artery itself won't be too scarred, that would keep her off the bypass machine but not unexpectedly, that wasn't the case.

It adds a little time to the surgery, but the team is prepared for anything and after almost four hours, they acknowledge the moment they are done.
The families anxiously awaited news.

Cambrie's family finally gets their first look at their daughter after surgery and it's a heartbreaking one.  

Then, what was supposed to be one night in the intensive care unit turns into a week and then eleven days.  

There are setbacks and milestones, like the first time Cambrie opened her eyes.

However, Cambrie is finally back at home in Standish.

Every day, Cambrie gets a little stronger, walking again, and rocking out to her favorite country song and you can bet there isn't going to be one day that her smile is taken for granted.Little Cambrie’s heart surgery
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