Girls Suffering from Heart Disease Become 'Sisters' to Each Other While Waiting Months for New Hearts

Brittany Chalmers
Aug 22, 2022
01:00 A.M.

Some bonds are unbreakable—this was the case for two little girls with a unique heart-to-heart connection. Despite their unfortunate circumstances, they always found a reason to smile.


Life isn't always fair, and sometimes families face challenging health struggles. Parents will do anything to give their kids the best opportunities to succeed in life.

When two moms admitted their little girls to a hospital for much-needed around-the-clock medical assistance, they never imagined the joy they would find. Read their beautiful story of hope and friendship found in the most unlikely place.


Six-year-old Maddy Fleischacker arrived at Children's Minnesota in April 2022. Doctors discovered her heart condition a few months prior and realized she needed a transplant.


A few hundred feet from her hospital room was 21-month-old Rinken Braun. She was born with a heart condition and arrived at Children's Minnesota the same month as Maddy, hoping for a life-saving transplant.

The girls were strangers, but they found a special connection in their shared struggles of constantly needing IVs and medical support. The duo became inseparable in the past four months, waiting for their miracles.



While they waited, the girls drew pictures, ran, and played together with unmissable smiles on their bright faces. The two were never far apart, and their moms were immensely grateful for the friendship and the strength it gave them and their daughters.

Rinken's mom, Emily Johnson, shared: "I would say Mae Mae is her sister right now. I think it was at that level the day they met."

The mothers noted that they wouldn't be envious of whoever received a heart first. They know both their daughters would get their miracle when the time was right.

While the little ones can't leave their rooms without plastic tubes following them, they don't seem too disturbed by it. Maddy is always willing to help untangle her younger friend, and she also loves drawing pictures for her.



Emily revealed that she and Rinken's mom, Miguella Fleischaker, were waiting for the precious gift of life. They struggled to ask and pray for it. Miguella expressed:

"For another parent to have to lose their child for ours to survive is so hard. I don't want to pray for it because I don't want someone to lose their child."



The mothers noted that they wouldn't be envious of whoever received a heart first. They know their daughters would get their miracle when the time was right, and they would celebrate with each other when the time came. Emily added:

"If they were to interrupt us right now to say Mae Mae's getting a heart, I would jump for joy."


As the girls played together in an adorable video, Maddy's t-shirt was unmissable. On it were the words, "Rinken Strong." When asked what it meant, the little girl boldly replied: "It means I love her a lot."


It was revealed that Maddy finally received the heart she had been waiting for on August 15, 2022. She underwent her transplant surgery and would continue to wait for news about her best friend, Rinken.

Our best wishes of health and happiness go to Maddy as she tackles life with her new heart. We also send our thoughts and prayers to Rinken as she waits to receive her miracle. God bless you!

Click here for another story about a woman who ended her pregnancy so she could donate her liver to save her brother's life. Find out what happened when her husband made the shocking discovery!

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