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University of Iowa News Release

 

July 6, 2007

Golfer, 15, To Discuss Children's Heart Defects

MacKinzie Kline was a marvel long before she stepped on a golf course.

Kline was born on March 30, 1992 in La Jolla, Calif. with a very complex heart defect. She received two open-heart surgeries before her second birthday. Now 15, she is making history, both in the world of medicine and on the links.

One day after competing in the John Deere Classic golf tournament in the Quad Cities, Kline will share her story of survival and determination during a meeting of the Heart Friends support group from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, July 12, in the Nursing Clinical Education Center on the fourth level of the General Hospital within University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.

Kline was born with a congenital heart defect called single ventricle with transposition of the greater vessels. Her liver is on the left side of her body instead of the right, and she also was born without a spleen. The disorder causes the blood from her lungs to flow the wrong way through her body, resulting in low levels of oxygen in her body.

Despite those physical challenges, Kline is a testament to what modern medicine and determination can achieve. She serves as the national spokesperson for the Children's Heart Foundation. She has also earned an exemption that permits her to play as an amateur on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tour. She is currently the fourth-ranked golfer for her age group in the world.

Her physician says Kline is setting the standard for survival among children born with a congenital heart defect. Kline also is dedicated to raising $1 million for the Children's Heart Foundation by the end of this year.

UI Children's Hospital serves children and their families at its main campus in Iowa City and satellite clinics in communities throughout Iowa. A 165-bed "hospital within a hospital," UI Children's Hospital benefits from the sophisticated services and comprehensive resources of UI Hospitals and Clinics. Child magazine ranks UI Children's Hospital among the top 20 children's hospitals in the nation.

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945, thomas-moore@uiowa.edu.