High School Mascot Returns to School After Heart Transplant

By Meredith Land
|  Tuesday, May 6, 2014  |  Updated 10:20 AM CDT
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Breana Bladel, known as

Meredith Land, NBC 5 News

Breana Bladel, known as "Ryan the Raider" to classmates, went back to school on Monday just three months after undergoing a heart transplant.

The Denton Ryan High school mascot, who underwent a heart transplant three months ago, achieved a big step on Monday.

Breana Bladel, known as "Ryan the Raider" to classmates, went back to school months after undergoing a transplant for a disorder that left her missing the left ventricle of her heart. The condition is called hypoplastic left heart and is one Bladel had been battling for years.

Bladel's best friend, Rachel Grant, walked her into school along with Breana’s sister, Bailey.

"For her to be here now, with a heart, looking as beautiful as she does, I never thought I'd see it. It's a miracle," said Rachel Grant.

The high school mascot said she is grateful for every step she takes.

"They said it was going to be too late for me. This is it. A heart transplant or nothing," Breana Bladel said.

Three months ago she got the gift of a heart transplant.

Her sister, Bailey remembers it well. "I didn't see the day coming and I'll never forget the day we got the call," Bailey Bladel said.

The surgery was a success.

Recovery, Breana Bladel said, has been grueling and she has longed to return to school.

"It's so much better than just staying home cause when home you're just staying in bed taking medicine, but when you go to school you get to get away from that for a little bit," Breana Bladel said.

People close to the teen call her a light because even though she has been through so much physically, she still has a positive attitude and a strong faith.

“She's taught me a lot," Grant said. "Life is precious and God is great."

"Brave, she's brave. I couldn't do anything that she does and I wouldn't be able to go through all of this," Bailey Bladel said.

Breana Bladel is thankful, even for Mondays. She dreams of once again suiting up as Denton Ryan’s mascot.

"Not take things for granted, cause everybody takes things for granted. But when you've been living with this and getting this opportunity, this amazing gift given to you, you can't take stuff for granted anymore," Breana Bladel said.

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