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NFL player Brandon Mebane's 7-week-old daughter dies while waiting for heart surgery

Ra'eesah Manack
Jan 11, 2019
08:59 A.M.
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NFL star Brandon Mebane is mourning his 7-week-old daughter. The little girl passed away while waiting for the heart surgery.

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Brandon Mebane is a 33-year-old defensive tackle for the Los Angeles Chargers. He is currently mourning the death of his seven-week-old daughter, Makenna.

Makenna died on January 3. She passed in a NICU in Omaha, Nebraska where she was waiting for heart surgery.

Mebane had missed four games throughout November and December. He spent the time off with his wife and two children after Makenna was born with a rare chromosome disorder.

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Makenna was born with Trisomy 13 which is a condition that causes intellectual disabilities and physical abnormalities such as heart defects and poorly developed eyes. The National Institutes of Health reports that most infants with the disease live only a few days or weeks after birth.

“T13 is when you’re dealing with a heart condition and the baby doesn’t have a valve to her heart,” Mebane revealed in an interview.

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"[There are] not a whole lot of surgeons in the United States to do surgery on babies, so we had to go to a specialist. There are only like four doctors in the U.S. that do this [certain procedure]. One of the doctors is in Omaha, so we had to go out there.” added Mebane.

Reports revealed that Makenna developed an infection in her stomach two weeks after she was born. The baby had to undergo an operation in the middle of December to remove the infected tissue from her intestines.

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Unfortunately, the operation did not have the desired results. Her condition worsened soon after the surgery.

“She just kept bleeding from her stomach, and when they tried to feed her, it wasn’t good for her liver,” Mebane said, “She wasn’t doing much better, and they had to make a decision.”

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Mebane rejoined the team during their last two regular season games. He helped them complete their last leg before the playoffs.

“I think the main thing for me is just playing for my family… playing for her [my wife] and my kids and my family has been a motivation.A boost to help me just go [out and just play,” Mebane tweeted in November

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Mebane revealed that the ordeal has made him realize the importance of prayer. He went on to say it brought him closer to God.

“[This is] something that made me more aware of talking to God more, praying way more, [and] praying not just at night with my kids, but before we drop them off at school. Hopefully, this’ll [raise] awareness.” said the Chargers co-captain.

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The @Chargers tweeted their support for their player, "Words are hard to come by with the passing of Brandon Mebane’s infant daughter, Makenna. We are heartbroken. Please join us in keeping Brandon, and his family, in your thoughts and prayers."

The Chargers are set to face the New England Patriots on Sunday. The result of the match will decide who moves on to the AFC Championship and then to Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta.

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Mebane plans to play with the team when they meet the Pats in Foxborough. He revealed that he will be keeping his daughter close to his heart when he’s on the field.

“You know, it’s been a tough year, period, but she would want me to be here doing my job. No matter where I am, I still think about her. I’m just happy I’m still able to play this game.” said Mebane.

In June last year, another NFL player had also lost his baby. Marquise Goodwin fell to his knees and broke into tears just after scoring a touchdown. He had just learned that he and his wife had lost their unborn baby.

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