"We did it! We did it!" Briggette Schilling stood in the middle of the hair salon where she works, yelling with excitement that a five-week fight to get life-saving heart surgery for her 14-month-old daughter, Aria, was over.

"It didn't need to be five weeks worth of a fight," she said Monday, adding that her faith, loving family and supportive friends helped the Schilling family to stay strong and persevere.

Aria has been poked and prodded since she was born, as doctors tried to diagnose her ailments. A month ago, her parents, Johan and Briggette Schilling, explained to The Reporter that Aria has been diagnosed with ventricular tachycardia, ventricular septal defect and pulmonary stenosis, meaning she has a fast heart beat, a hole in her heart and there is a blockage from the right ventricle of her heart to the pulmonary artery.

Additionally, the family is waiting to see the latest test results on whether Aria has Noonan Syndrome, which shows itself in unique facial characteristics, heart defects and possible developmental delays, Briggette said.

Just two weeks before Aria was scheduled for surgery, the Schillings learned that Oakland Children's Hospital was not a part of the network covered by their health insurer. The insurer wanted the surgery to be done at the University of California, Davis, Medical Center in Sacramento.

For more on the story, see the Vacaville Reporter at www.thereporter.com/news/ci_24455679



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