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Sandeen waiting for a 2nd heart transplant

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After receiving a heart transplant when she was just 8-years-old, Alyssa Sandeen headed back to the hospital Sunday night.

Her body is requiring a second heart transplant.

Early on, Alyssa was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, or heart disease. Her father says her heart was enlarged and weakening.

She got a transplant at age 8, but now that heart is reaching the end of its lifespan 14 years later.

"This one is slowly failing on me and right now," said Alyssa. "Tonight I am going back to the hospital, it will give me a chance to be transplanted a lot sooner."

For the last 14 years, after the initial transplant, life had been normal.

"Before I got sick and had CPR, I was living a complete normal life just like everyone else," said Alyssa. "I pretty much woke up and everything's totally different. I had a future ahead of me, I was going to school--planning on doing nursing, and I had so many things, so many goals and hopes and everything's totally different and I have to completely change my future and it's kind of frustrating."

Things started to turn for Alyssa last November.

"She'd gone through so much and she went into cardiac arrest for 2 hours and it was really scary," said her father Chris Sandeen. "We didn't know if we were going to lose her because she was so close to death."

While the news has caused anxiety, Alyssa has found a way to keep smiling and to keep being an inspiration for others.

"I stay optimistic, because I got a lot of friends that are supporting me and people from all over the world are there to support me, and a lot of prayers that are out there," Alyssa said.

Before leaving for the hospital Sunday night and saying hello to her friends, Alyssa says she want to stress a key message.

"Organ donation--big thing," Alyssa said. 

A benefit for Alyssa Sandeen will be held on the 27th of this month. That event will be at the Kato Ballroom from 1-7 P.M.