South Dakota’s 2014 Children’s Miracle Network Champion died this week.

14-year-old Katelyn JoAnn Tennant was from Sioux Falls. When she was born, Katelyn was diagnosed with truncus arteriosus, and went through more than 30 surgeries and procedures. Katelyn was also diagnosed with plastic bronchitis at age 8. 

KELOLAND News has followed Katelyn beginning when she was 8-years-old and more recently at age 12.  She showed us how she had been rolling with the punches. 

“Katelyn is a miracle every single day.  Every day that I have with her, every day she’s here on this Earth is a miracle to be here.  Almost 12 years is more than I could have ever hoped for,” her mother Nicole said in the 2014 interview.

Recently, Katelyn’s plastic bronchitis returned. 

Back in our Eye on KELOLAND, Dr. Bill Waltz of Sanford Hospital explained how rare it was.

“She developed something called plastic bronchitis, which has never been seen in somebody like her.  It’s a rare thing to begin with and it was hard to accept even that someone like her would have that disease,” Waltz said in the 2014 interview. 

She had her fifth open heart surgery last October in Michigan. Katelyn passed away Thursday after going to the hospital for difficulty breathing. 

A family friend created a GoFundMe to help Katelyn’s mother, Nicole. As of Saturday evening more than $1,500 was raised.