ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — At the UAlbany men’s basketball game Wednesday, an 8-year-old girl, who has had two heart transplants, was honored. Payton Garcia was honored as part of the Play Your Heart Out for Kids game.
Garcia received her second heart transplant in May 2021. She was the honorary coach during the game and was honored at halftime.
“I’m doing great, and I’m so excited to be the captain team,” she said.
“The thing is, I used to coach basketball,” her mother Delisa Archie said. “My daughter played basketball, her godparents are both coaches, so it’s kind of like fitting that Payton coaches as well. Coach Pay Pay.”
Garcia is a member of the Cardiac Kids 518 group, an American Heart Association support group for families who have children born with the most common kind of birth defect, a congenital heart defect. The American Heart Association says 1 in 110 children is born with a heart defect.