‘You can’t put a price on a heart’: Naples family rallies for baby daughter

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Lucia Torres (Photo via Angie Torres)

The day Annie and Victor Torres welcomed their baby daughter Annie into the world was supposed to be one of the happiest of their lives.

“When she was born we were so excited,” Annie said.

Lucia was born on Dec. 8, with Noonan Syndrome —a condition with several heart complications— where she spent the first several days of her life in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, Fla.

“That’s been the hard part for me, you know, seeing her like that,” Annie said.

A short stay in the hospital has a large price tag, and Annie said her insurance statement cost $154,000.

Lucia’s been at the hospital waiting for a new heart since the beginning of March.

The Torres’ are using money they previously saved for a new home to cover Lucia’s expenses.

“You can’t put a price on a heart; if you told me it was $200 million, I’d be like ‘OK,'” Annie said.

The average cost for a heart and related expenses in the first year costs more than $1 million, according to the National Foundation for Transplants. Costs can vary on insurance and the procedure itself.

For the Torres family, Lucia’s health is most important.

“No matter what the price is … this is what we’re going to do, and we’re gonna do that to keep her living,” Annie said.

It could take up to a year for Lucia to get a new heart, according to her family. There will be a fundraiser Saturday at St. Agnes Catholic Church on 7775 Vanderbilt Beach Road.

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