"I adopted her when she was 12 hours old..and i believe that we were just meant to be together."
Jade is now 12 years old and a skilled equestrian. Ava had it all. But, in 2008, her life was shattered by a mysterious illness. Her once tiny frame ballooned to more than 200 pounds. She was nearly immobile.
"I had gotten so weak that i was walking with a walker."
Fearing she was dying and concerned for Jade's future, Ava turned to a friend.
"i just said to her...You have to promise me that you'll make sure nothing happens to jade"
Doctors diagnosed her with a rare auto-immune disease. Her heart was failing..
"she developed heart failure very rapidly and very severely. She was the sickest of the sick"
And then a moment that changed everything..doctors found a heart for ava. The transplant took place on her birthday. And when she woke up she made this promise.
"i just promised god that if he would let me come back and be jade's mother that i would spend the rest of my life trying to help people"
And she's kept that promise. Ava now dedicates her free time to teaching high school students about the importance of organ donation. She also comforts people who are waiting for new hearts. Doctors say her recovery is a miracle, but, for Ava, the real miracle is having a new life with Jade.