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Arizona toddler hooked up to machine waiting for heart

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MacKenzyee Armes (Source: CBS 5 News) MacKenzyee Armes (Source: CBS 5 News)
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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

The last several months haven't been easy for little MacKenzyee Armes. Even though she's intubated and strapped to a hospital bed, her spirit remains strong.

In April, the little girl's mother noticed MacKenzyee had a fever and was breathing heavy so she took her to the doctor.

"When we got to the urgent care they told me my baby was almost dead," said Lisa Dewitt.

The 15-month old was diagnosed with dilated cardiomypathy. It's a condition where the heart becomes enlarged and can no longer pump blood efficiently. When medication didn't work the family was given a choice to put in the Berlin Heart or pull the plug on their little girl. The decision was a no brainer.

"Hell, no. That's our baby. We're not going to give up on her," said Dewitt.

The blood pump sits on MacKenzyee's stomach and is attached to her body by a pair of tubes. Although it's hard to see his baby girl like this, MacKenzyee's dad is fortunate for his daughter's second chance at life.

"She's going to grow up to be her normal self. Playful. Cheerful. Just a happy little girl," said William Armes.

MacKenzyee can stay hooked up to the Berlin Heart for up to a year. During that time she must remain in the hospital. Her parents have been there by her side the entire time and told CBS 5 they'll stay there until she gets her new heart.

Mackenzyee is the first child at Phoenix Children's Hospital to get the go ahead for the Berlin Heart.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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