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Franklin County middle schooler needs new heart

A Franklin County teen is fighting for his life. Doctors discovered he has a rare genetic disorder that's causing a vital organ to fail.

MONT ALTO, Pa. — 13-year-old Logan Tremmelle is taking life one step at a time and his next step is a big one. 

Last October, the seventh grader at Waynesboro Area Middle School experienced excessive vomiting. 

After several doctor's visits, he was sent to Penn State Health Children's Hospital in Hershey.

"First thing they did was a chest x-ray and his heart was almost three times the size it should be and it was surrounded by fluid," said Melinda Tremmelle, Logan's mom.

His heart was failing and doctors couldn't figure out why. 

By the time Logan was airlifted to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia two weeks later, his heart was down to just 10% function.

He needed immediate surgery.

"We just knew that he wasn't going to make it without the surgery. It was that or we had a few days," Tremmelle said.

Doctors installed a device that keeps his heart going. A Left Ventricular Assist Device helps pump blood through the body, as doctors fear his heart can no longer pump on its own.

Batteries keep it powered up during the day. It connects to a wall outlet at night. 

Logan is using a wheelchair to help keep his heart rate down and avoid leg pain from the surgery. The LVAD is a temporary solution to a problem Logan has had since birth.

"They found out he has a rare genetic disorder. It's AARS2. It's 100% fatal," Tremmelle said. "He's the second kid in the world who has made it to his teenage years."

Removing his heart would also remove the disorder, but first he needs to find a replacement.

Logan has been near the top of the transplant list for ten weeks, at least four weeks longer than his family anticipated.

"I'm waiting for a new heart, but I don't really know what the future is going to hold," Logan said.

"We're just really hoping he survives, because I can't lose my baby," Melinda added.

A transplant is expected to cost $1.6 million, adding to the $7 million worth of care Logan has already received.

Logan's medications will cost $1,000 per month.

Insurance is covering some of it, but Logan's family is raising money for travel costs and expenses.

Melinda Tremmelle set up a GoFundMe page to help Logan's recovery.

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