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A Special Kind of Gift

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) When youre in the hospital for weeks and weeks, a little humor can go a long way. After Hailey Steimels heart transplant, one of her nurses brought something in.

"And she gave me a present and one was a Tin Man, said Hailey. And she says, this is kind of like the Tin Man wanting a heart."

While the Scarecrow looks for wisdom, the Lion seeks courage, the Tin Man needs a heart to find compassion. It turns out, Hailey might have him beat there.

"I got my heart so now I want to help other people, so now I just say, sign up and be an organ donor, said Hailey.

With everything Haileys gone through, and now that shes strong enough to throw out the first pitch at a Kernels game, Haileys heart may not be the only thing thats new for her and her sister, Hope. Its their outlook on life.

"I don't know what but I want something big to come out of this and make an impact, said Hope.

An impact after Brigitte says Hope and her older sister Hannah basically took over the house when Hailey was in the hospital and Brigitte was by her side.

"They had to grow up really quickly and it makes you really proud that when things got tough, they knew exactly what to do, said Brigitte.

One time when they might not be so sure what to do is when they meet the donors family. You can imagine how hard it would be to find the words for someone who lost so much, but gave you everything.

"I think when you're in that moment and you're meeting the family, I think then you're going to know what to say, said Hope.

So while the Tin Man might get some smiles, its not the present that makes Hailey think every day.

"I'm gonna keep this heart healthy and strong, said Hailey, Because someone gave it to me as a gift.
 
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