sioux falls, sd
It was a busy month of December for one little KELOLAND girl.
On December 12, three-year-old Saphira had open heart surgery to close a hole in her heart. But you wouldn't know that from watching her play.
We first introduced you to Saphira and her mom, Karena Damm, when Karena was given a pair of "Faith" boots from a Mitchell boutique owner.
The boots were a gift to help the young mother get through the upcoming surgery. Now she's watching her daughter recover.
"I see her more active, if anything. She gets in more stuff. She's actually talking a lot more now that she doesn't have that hole there. It's been great, really," Karena said.
While the surgery went smoothly overall, Saphira did run into a few roadblocks afterwards.
"The day we were supposed to get discharged, she ended up having some problems with fever, increased heart rate. So we ended up actually staying there a couple days extra for her own safety, to make sure she was OK," Karena said.
Karena has been using social media to keep family and friends updated on Saphira's progress. But it's not just her loved ones who have shown an interest in Saphira's journey. Even complete strangers have been showering the two with love and support.
"Constantly, we had likes and comments on Facebook about Saphira. And how they were praying for her, and hope everything went OK. You know, it's nice knowing that there is that support from everyone. And knowing that they care for her just as much as I do," Karena said.
Saphira is now looking ahead to the future, as she prepares to enroll in a pre pre-school program at the end of the month.
"I just can't believe it myself. I really didn't think we were going to make it this far with everything that happened. But now that we are here, it's just crazy. I'm excited to get her into school and for her to be around other kids. And start being treated like she is like everyone else," Karena said.
As more time passes, Saphira continues to heal and is growing into someone her mother is proud to be raising.
"Just a happy, get together, caring little girl. I couldn't expect anything better. I feel very gifted having her as my daughter," Karena said.
Saphira's doctors do not believe she will need to have any more major surgeries for a quite awhile. She will be getting tubes in her ears again for her persistent earaches, but Karena says she's grateful it's nothing more.
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