TAMPA (WFLA) – Anya Pio is a very typical seven-year-old. She likes Barbie’s, swimming, and riding her bike. But before Anya was born her parents weren’t sure she would be able to do any of those things.
Tina Pio says when she was just 17 weeks pregnant with Anya the doctors shared some grim news. They said Anya had a serious birth defect.
It’s called Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome. Put simply, Anya was born with only half a heart.
“It’s like winning the lottery that you never want to win. It’s totally random,” Tina said.
But the young girl was born a fighter! Anya was born at just 33 weeks and has already gone through two open-heart surgeries so far, but looking at her you would never know it.
“She does pretty much anything any normal kid would do,” according to her father Michael Pio.
The Pio family started a Youtube channel called Heart Family to document their journey.
“Initially, that was created to help other families and or children who might be going through the same thing so they can see how our day to day is and how far Anya has come,” Michael said.
As far as Anya’s long term prognosis, it’s unclear what she might face down the road. According to her father “there could be no issues, there could be pacemaker, there could be full on transplant.”
One thing is for certain, kids born with Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome born these days are living longer.