Children's Health Heart Patients Become Fast Friends by Supporting Each Other

Davi Reznik and Lottie Gross are both 5 years old. They both love ballet and singing. And they both were with congenital heart defects.

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Playdates are usually spent at friend's houses or on a playground. For 5-year-olds Davi Reznik and Lottie Gross, playdates are over FaceTime while they're in the hospital.

"We both have hearts, we both have zippers," Davi said from her hospital bed at Children's Health in Dallas.

The two girls were born with congenital heart defects, conditions they will have to manage for the rest of their lives. They've each had 200 X-rays, 25 surgeries, and long stays in the hospital.

"Things that no one should have to go through," Davi's mother Staci Reznik said. "But they do it with a smile."

Davi lives in Dallas. Lottie lives in Oklahoma City. The girls were introduced by their mutual cardiologist, Dr. Thomas Zellers, a pediatric cardiologist at Children's Health in Dallas and a professor at UT Southwestern.

"I can't make them understand that they're not the only ones going through something like this," Zellers said. "Having someone who knows what it's like and be able to compare or contrast really kind of gives them a psychological boost."

The girls met in person for the first time three weeks ago.

"They showed each other their zippers and they say they are part of the zipper club," Lottie's mother Rachel Gross said, referring to the girls' scars from open-heart surgery.

"Excuses me," Davi said. "We should really do that and me and Lottie can talk about hard things they have to do."

The friendship has helped their parents too.

"Staci gave us what we could expect on the road to recovery," Gross said. "And we've been able to call or text each other and say, 'This is happening, this is happening,' because a lot of people just don't get it."

"I think the friendship with these two girls is basically a beautiful support system," Zellers said. "Because after all, that's what friends are for, right?"

As the girls said goodbye over Zoom they blew kisses.

"Bye Lottie," Davi said.

"Bye Davi," Lottie replied.

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