8-year-old returns home after nearly 1 year hospitalized

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — After spending over 200 days at the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital in New York City, 8-year-old Payton Garcia Archie got a warm welcome home from friends and family Sunday afternoon!

Payton is a dancer. She is always ready to bust a move! She is the sweetest girl who adores all the Disney princesses. Payton learned to love her scars and doesn’t let them define her.

When Payton was born, she was diagnosed with pulmonary atresia, a form of heart disease in which the pulmonary valve does not form properly, causing blood to flow back into her heart. The doctors said she needed open-heart surgery.

At only 4 months old, Payton received her first heart transplant. She received her second heart transplant on Dec. 16, 2013. Her family calls her heart transplants “angel hearts.”

“I am extremely grateful my baby is back,” says Payton’s grandma, Delisa Archie, who also goes by “Glamma.” She says it has been an extremely long and difficult battle, but, “We weren’t scared. We’ve been down that road before. But on February 13, she had her first heart attack.”

Through countless sleepless nights, this little girl has experienced multiple life-threatening experiences. She had a kidney transplant and removal, two heart attacks, and four strokes. “She said, ‘Don’t ever leave me again—my heart belongs to you Mema,” Archie says. “That’s what she calls me: ‘Mema.’”

Her family calls Payton a miracle. Through many prayers, they held onto hope. “There was one goal, and that goal was to bring her home. There were times where it wasn’t looking good at all.”

Friends held a car parade for Payton, then they gathered at the World of Dance in Colonie, where Payton dances. Her family is beyond grateful to see the support at home and around the globe. “Just seeing that support—she’s had love from California, Spain, Africa, from London—from all over,” says Archie. “For the Capital District to come and Albany and Colonie Police Departments, it was just amazing.”

Now that Payton is officially home, she has a long list of fun things to do, penciling in plenty of snuggle time with her puppy, Coach! “She said she couldn’t wait to dance and she wants to go swimming,” says Archie.

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