Areti is an 8-year-old girl. She loves piano, gymnastics, swimming, and she often argues with her brothers. Her dream is to become an astronaut.
Areti has something that most children of her age do not have – the heart of another child! She was born with a serious heart defect and had to have a transplant a few days after she was born.
The “new” heart of Areti does not actually belong to her. Her body will reject the heart unless she takes special medication. These drugs suppress her immune system and therefore she cannot have vaccines such as measles, mumps, rubella, etc. As a result, Areti’ s body cannot fight back these diseases.
What does that mean?
Her health at some point depends on other people. If one of her friends gets measles or chickenpox, Areti could easily get sick. As she can’t fight back such an infection, she could be in serious danger.
Areti enjoys a normal life today, partly thanks to her friends who protect her from infections by having all suggested vaccines!