A mother has spent the past two years trying to find out what has caused her daughter to have repeated episodes of losing consciousness and almost dying.
Brooke Abate, 29, gave birth to her daughter Jayla in September 2008, according to The Advertiser.
Jayla's health issues did not become apparent until summer 2014.
"One day, while Jayla was getting ready for school, she was sitting on the potty and fell over," Abate recounted.
"She was white and unresponsive. I called 911 and they took her to the hospital. Doctors said it was a virus and sent us home a couple days later."
These episodes continued to happen seemingly at random. Jayla underwent various tests at different hospitals, but none of the results returned an abnormal diagnosis. One doctor even attributed the young girl's condition to be a "cry for attention," according to The Independent Journal Review.
Doctors equipped Jayla with a heart monitor in early 2016.
"And Jayla didn’t have an episode the entire time. It was crazy, like nobody was believing me. It made me feel like I was going nuts."
Abate remained worried and continued to seek answers about her daughter's condition.
Jayla finally received a diagnosis of her condition after suffering through a particularly bad episode on June 22. According to doctors, the girl had a very sick heart that required a pacemaker. The condition is known as Sick Sinus Syndrome, and it causes the heart to stop beating for five to six seconds at a time.
Doctors put a pacemaker into Jayla's heart on June 24, but unfortunately Jayla received an infection during the surgery.
"She cries and she’s scared to go to sleep at night," said her mother, reports The Advertiser.
"Anything I tell her, she cries. She’s very emotional and I have to sleep with her. In terms of school next month, who knows what will happen?"
The episodes have taken a huge toll on Jayla, her mother, and their family. But Abate says that remaining strong and getting through the pain remains their top priority.
"Never take anything for granted. You always see things happen to people, and you never think it’s gonna be you. Then it hits you -- 'wow, we could have really lost our child here.' It's a very, very scary thing."