"If she gets too excited about something, we have to calm her down," Harmony's mother Ivy Payne told The Brazil Times about her daughter's heart condition that makes breathing very difficult. "It's very hard when you have to stop your child from laughing and playing. You want her to be normal and enjoy life. She looks normal, but her heart sounds like a washing machine."
Harmony was born Nov. 5, 2008 with a congenital heart defect known as Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF). The combination of four heart defects -- which do commonly occur together -- limits the amount of oxygen flow in Harmony's blood system.
On Nov. 6, Harmony was emergency air lifted from Terre Haute Union Hospital to Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis as her nervous parents followed in their car.
"There wasn't anything going to keep me in that hospital," Ivy said.
Although Harmony appears and acts like a normal bright-eyed 6-month-old baby, her parents said she gets tired quickly and has difficulty breathing.
"If she cries too much she passes out," Joseph Payne said about how his daughter's illness stops the family from enjoying their lives together. "The hardest thing is knowing I can't play with her or get her too excited."
While most parents anxiously wait for their child's milestones, Harmony's parents feel the same joy, but it is quickly tempered with anxiety.
"When we heard her first laugh, we were like 'Oh, my gosh,'" Ivy said. "Then we had to stop her from experiencing the joy of that moment because it might be too much of a problem for her breathing."
Surgery is scheduled for June to repair the heart defects. Ivy's life-long friend Kayla Harris and her mother Suzie Buchanan are organizing a fundraiser to help raise money to support the medical costs necessary for Harmony's open-heart surgery. It is scheduled for May 17 at the American Legion Post 2, 1013 S. Forest Ave., Brazil.
"We're really grateful to everyone for all their hard work," Joseph said.
Ivy agreed and wanted to express gratitude to all the medical personnel who have and will help take care of Harmony.
"I wouldn't know what to tell other families experiencing these types of problems, but Riley is a magical place with a lot of wonderful people there who really care," she said.
"Yes, it's scary to think about, but I'm excited about the surgery," Ivy said. "Afterwards, when she's healed and gotten back on track, Harmony can have normal emotions. Her life can be fun, like it should have been all along."
A benefit to help cover medical costs for 6-month-old Harmony Kaylyn Payne will take place May 17. She is the daughter of Ivy and Joe Payne
The event will take place at the American Legion Post 2, 1013 S. Forest Ave., Brazil.
Starting at noon, a chicken and noodle dinner will take place along with a raffle and other various events to help raise money to support the medical costs necessary for open-heart surgery for Harmony.
Prices for the chicken and noodle dinner will be $6.50 for adults, $3 for children 3-12 and children 2 or younger will be allowed to eat free with a paying adult. The dinner is scheduled for 12-6 p.m.
Donations may also be deposited in an account established in Harmony Payne's name at any Riddell National Bank location.