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Lacey gets a new heart, now in recovery


Lacey Ernst has a new heart but isn't out of the woods yet.

This fall, Nick and Heidi Ernst got the phone call they'd been waiting for. A heart was available for their daughter Lacey, a tenacious 5-year-old who had been sick for far too long.

Lacey's heart transplant took place at Seattle Children's Hospital in early November, but it hasn't been smooth sailing. The little girl's body went into rejection and she spent several weeks in the Intensive Care Unit.

"She just got out of ICU on Thanksgiving," said Nick Ernst. "She's still in rejection, but it's being managed."

It's possible that Lacey could be back at her Arlington home in time for Christmas, but her fragile immune system will require continued isolation for some time to prevent infections.

And even though Lacey's health may be on the mend, the family's financial need is still critical.

Arlington country singer Jesse Taylor will perform a benefit concert for Lacey's COTA account (Children's Organ Transplant Association) on Saturday, Jan. 4, at 7:30 p.m. at Arlington's Magnolia Hall. Tickets are $20 per person or $35 per couple and are available through the Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber is also hosting several raffles to raise money for Lacey's ongoing care, but the deadline to participate is quickly approaching-winners will be drawn tomorrow, Dec. 19.

Among the prizes being raffled off are copies of Jesse Taylor's CMA award-winning CD "Out Here in the Country," two tickets to the Jan. 4 concert, lunch with the up-and-coming Arlington country singer, and autographed Seahawks footballs.

To find out more about the raffle or the benefit concert, email


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