Surprise Princess Dance Party Gives Girl With Rare Heart Defect 'A Night To Remember'

Monday, March 2nd 2020, 9:29 am

9-year-old Kenna Faith spent most of her Saturday getting pampered and fixed up like a princess.

With a little makeup, curls in her hair, a diamond tiara and a beautiful ball gown, Kenna was headed to a party, but she didn’t know it was a surprise party in her honor.

A crowd of people outside the St. John Catholic Church in McAlester cheered when Kenna arrived holding tightly her favorite stuffed animal, Lambie.

Prince Charming met Kenna at the curb and escorted her down the red carpet, but only after she stopped to hug her dad (her real-life prince charming).

The red carpet was lined with princesses and Disney characters and photographers. Kenna’s smile shined brighter than the flashes of the professional cameras.

“She partied the night away as she lit the room up with her one and only infectious smile,” said Kenna’s mom, Alana Mattioda. “She finished the night in true princess form, falling asleep in her princess gloves and eye shadow.”

News On 6 told you about the plans for the party a few weeks ago when we introduced you to Kenna. She was born with a rare, life-threatening congenital heart defect that keeps her from getting enough oxygen.

Related Story: McAlester Community Throws Dance Party For Girl With Rare Heart Defect 

Doctors didn't think Kenna would live more than a few hours and suggested her mom terminate the pregnancy, but her mom wanted to give her little girl a chance at life.

Kenna has beat the odds for more than 9 years, but doctors recently told Kenna's parents time is closing in and she might only have a year to live. Hospice has been called in to give the family added support.

“We are not giving up on her, we are doing our very best to accept what is to come and to prepare,” Mattioda said. “We may not have much longer with her, maybe a year, maybe sooner. However long He gives us, it won’t feel near long enough.”

Her parents haven’t told Kenna about the most recent prognosis because they want whatever time she has left to be full of joy, love, and fun.

“We are going to try to continue to do everything we can to make life as normal as we can for her. Kenna does not know and we are thankful for God's protection over her in that way. She has the sweet innocence of not knowing,” Mattioda said.

When some of the Mattioda family’s friends heard the update, they wanted to help in whatever way they could.

Several people worked together to organize the surprise dance party to raise money for the family, but more than anything to give Kenna  "A Night to Remember".

“To everyone who made [Saturday] night happen, to all who came, and to all that couldn’t, please accept my ‘thank you’ from the depths of my heart’s intention, for your generous love,” Mattioda said. “Our family is so blessed to be surrounded by so many that are loving us through these deep waters.”

Reed Marcum, a Pittsburg County 4-H Ambassador, is also raising money for the family through a silent auction, which is open until 6 p.m. March 6.


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