EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSPRAYING FOR MAKAYLA
from Eyewitness News Online
Kanawha Teen Battling Illness, Placed On Ventilator; Family Pleads For Prayers
Reported by: Bethany Simmons
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Nov. 12, 2012 2:14 PM EST
Updated: Nov. 16, 2012 11:43 AM EST
Cincinnati , Ohio
A Kanawha County teen whose medical battle has prompted an outpouring of prayers and support was placed on a ventilator at an Ohio hospital.
Eyewitness News has learned that Makayla Clark, 17, of Marmet was placed on a ventilator Thursday evening at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, where she was flown late last week.
A desperate plea was posted on the "Cheering for Makayla" Facebook page about 8 p.m. Thursday, saying, "Urgent prayers needed. Makayla was just placed on a ventilator because she was having difficulty breathing due to excess fluid on her lungs and heart."
The teen was flown to Cincinnati Children's Hospital on Nov. 8 from Yeager Airport in Charleston for additional medical evaluation. She had previously been in a Charleston hospital since early October.
Makayla's story starts 17 years ago when she was born with Down syndrome, then diagnosed with leukemia at age 2, which was treated with chemotherapy and radiation. By the time she was 12, she underwent a kidney transplant and now at the age of 17 she has been diagnosed with two rare forms of cancer. Due to extensive medical complications, doctors in the Charleston area referred the teen to the Ohio hospital, in hopes to save her life.
Eyewitness News first told you about Makayla on Nov. 8, when a family friend called to let our station know of the situation and that the family was simply asking for prayers. We were able to post her story onto the WCHS and WVAH Facebook page, which gained hundreds of likes, comments and shares and an outpouring of support for the teen.
On Nov. 9, West Virginia University Basketball Coach Bob Huggins called Makayla. Family members said she is a huge fan of the coach. Eyewitness News was able to share that video with our viewers that evening at on wchstv.com. She also is a huge fan of teen superstar Justin Bieber.
Keep checking wchstv.com for updates on Makayla's story.
The cellphone call was so touching it could melt your heart.
West Virginia University Basketball Coach Bob Huggins on Friday called Makayla Clark, 17, a Kanawha County teenager who is in the fight of her life at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Huggins is one of Makayla’s heroes.
A family friend told Eyewitness News that the two exchanged "I love yous," and Huggins gave Makayla his cell phone number, telling her to call him anytime. The video attached to this story shows Makayla receiving the call.
Makayla was born with Down Syndrome and was diagnosed leukemia when she was just 2. She received a kidney transplant when she was 12. Now she is being treated in the oncology floor of the Cincinnati Children's Hospital.
A Facebook post on the "Cheering for Makayla" page states that the teen received a blood transfusion in addition to platelets Saturday and "on the cancer front there is still not a specific enough diagnosis to pinpoint a treatment plan, and the Dr 's don't feel she'd be ready to handle it yet."
Meanwhile, there has been an outpouring of support for her – prayers have been offered on Facebook and there has been a lot of encouragement from cheerleaders at Capital High School who used to cheer with Makayla.
Members of the student council at Capital High School are taking orders for t-shirts in support of Makayla. They are $10 each. You can email orders (qty, size, etc) to CheeringForMakayla@hotmail.com.
As family, friends and strangers continue to cheer her on, one of her dreams has become a reality. Makayla is a huge fan of Huggins and of teen superstar Justin Bieber.
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