Child who underwent heart transplant dies at age 6

July 01, 2013

By George P. Matysek Jr.

gmatysek@CatholicReview.org

Teresa Bartlinski, a 6-year-old parishioner of St. Mark in Catonsville who underwent heart transplant surgery in late June, died July 1 at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. 

Her body rejected her new heart, and she was unable to survive the attempted installation of an artificial heart known as a “Berlin” device July 1.

Ann Bartlinski, Teresa’s mother, wrote in her family blog that at 3:23 p.m., Teresa “(rode) her princess bike into Heaven to meet Jesus.”

Shortly before Teresa died, Ann Bartlinski said, the girl fulfilled a dream of having her ears pierced.

Teresa, born in China on Christmas Day 2006, suffered from congenital heart disease. She was adopted in 2010 by the Bartlinski family, which has adopted four other Chinese children with special needs. Her story had inspired a worldwide following as thousands of people prayed for her healing. The family has a special devotion to Blessed John Paul II, and had asked for his intercession.

Doctors had hoped that if Teresa survived the installation of the mechanical device, another heart could be found for her.

“While we were not there when she took her first breath,” Ann Bartlinski wrote, “God blessed us to be there when she took her last.”