FRANKFORD, Del. – Londyn Simone Manuel was born on December 13th, 2016 at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore with Hyperplastic Right Heart Syndrome. This is when the right atrium and right ventricle of the heart are underdeveloped, causing insufficient blood flow to the lungs. Three days after birth she went into open heart surgery. She had many operations leading up to her sudden death on August 10th, 2017.
“Londyn was a fighter, she was a warrior. She was a beacon of hope. You know she taught me a lot of things as a mother. She taught me to have patience and have faith and just never to give up” says Tonesa Walker, Londyn’s mother.
During her short time on earth, Londyn touched many lives, Patrick McBee, member of the Little Mended Hearts in Baltimore, says this day hits home for him and his family with a similar experience.
“We found them through our organization doing donations and gift bags at the hospital and got us out there and we become family because we are all going through the same struggle” explains McBee.
Londyn’s family strives to continue giving back to the community. Local organizations came out to spread awareness. A member of the Little Mended Hearts of Baltimore says this is a day for the community to celebrate life but also to heal.
“It really is about getting our message out there and finding families. We did events like this across Maryland and found families that had no clue we were here. It’s help us so much and want to help and give back to them” mentions McBee.
At the events kids had the chance to get their face painted or receive animal balloons. These are activities that Londyn’s family have always enjoyed doing. They say its a great way to honor her legacy.
Londyn’s grandfather, Len Smack believes despite her pain and suffering, she left a mark and it is shown through this event.
“To see these kids and have so much fun and that’s the most important thing. Londyn’s legacy is going to live on forever as long as I’m on this earth” says Smack.
One young girl honored with an annual event and remembered everyday here on Delmarva. Children’s Day in the Park will be back around this time next year.