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Amarillo toddler returns home after receiving life-saving heart transplant

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An Amarillo toddler who has won the hearts of the community is now home after receiving a life-saving heart transplant.

NewsChannel 10's Michelle Langowski has been following Audree Gomez' tough battle and has more on her return home.

18 month old Audree has spent most of her young life away from home, it's been a life filled with hospitals, doctors, operations and waiting.

Now, after a successful heart transplant, the community is coming together to help make sure Audree is back home to stay.

"It's just amazing, it's one of those things that is still kind of feels surreal, like we should be waking up back in Dallas and going to hospital visits two times a week or every other week. It's just wonderful," said her mother, Kimberly.

We first introduced you to Audree in December of 2011, just after she was placed on the national transplant list for a new heart.

When Audree was just three months old, she was diagnosed with pediatric dilated cardio-myopathy, meaning one side of her heart was enlarged and not properly working.

450 days later her new heart is growing strong.

Her dad, Mark remembers seeing her for the first time after surgery.

"They were bringing her down the hallway and we got to hear that heartbeat, just tears upon tears. Just joyful and thanking God the whole time that we got that heart - we were able to see a miracle happen before our eyes and just thankful."

In order for Audree's heart to stay healthy the Gomez' needed some home renovations. That's where the community stepped in.

Members of the local Elk's Lodge and area businesses have been volunteering their time and services to put in a new air filtration system, new heating and air, plumbing, flooring - and their work isn't done yet.

Elk's Lodge #923 member and Chairman of the "Audree Project" explains, "we're trying to push to get that done. with donated help and volunteers, it does take them just a little more time. It's not like you see on TV, it doesn't happen in a week. We're working our best to get it done

"I think in this world you kind of get jaded. You think that most people are always looking out for themselves, and to have so many people in this community that they just want to help and they'll do whatever they can. It's just amazing to know that people are still like that," adds Kimberly Gomez.

The Gomez' home is still in need of work, and those involved are still in need of some donated items.

If you would like to help the "Audree Project" - donations can be made at any Herring National Bank location.

Items they need include:

-New Septic System

-New Roof

-Attic and Wall Insulation

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