SAN ANTONIO — Second-grader Kailyn Gallardo was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which is basically half of a heart.
"When she was first born it was a miracle that she had been born, and it's been very hard, but she is here she is. A blessing and through all the struggles through all the fights she's pulled through and she's never been negative about anything," said her mother Diane.
She was brought to the stage by her father Victor. They were given a special welcome with a band, cheerleaders, and a special tribute video.
Medio Elementary School, Kailyn's school, is hosting the kickoff of a Southwest ISD heart health initiative, dedicated to the young fighter. "Every year we do 'Jump Rope For Heart' district-wide," said the school's physical education teacher, Jessica Verstuyft.
Throughout the month, these kids will go door to door, neighbor to neighbor, relative to relative, to raise money for the American Heart Association.
Kailyn has gone through three open heart surgeries, and the students and faculty at the school have opened their hearts too, in their own way. The school made a huge poster board saying we love you Kailyn, and students made plenty of their own signs to show how much love they have for this very special second-grade student."
"Just to put something like that in her name is amazing to me, and it's motivation for our kids to continue to keep their hearts healthy," said Verstuyft.
Gallardo added, "Coach Verstuyft did an amazing job, and all the staff, the district that came out, and it's been awesome. It's beautiful beyond words."