Vera Wang Designs Teen's Prom Dress

Natalie Derstine has wanted to be a fashion designer for as long as she can remember.

"She started sewing at 7 years old," said her dad, Tim Derstine. "Sometimes she'd just grab stuff and have no pattern and come back an hour later and say, 'Look what I made.'"

The budding 17-year-old designer has bold ideas and opinions. She even shared some of those opinions with "Good Morning America" anchor Chris Cuomo.

"Your belt and your tie and your socks and your shoes don't match either," Natalie told him.

Throughout high school, it seemed nothing could deter Natalie from her dream, until she got sick.

"She kept dealing with a cough that seemed to prolong," her mother, Susan, said. "And it was a little unusual, you know, but we weren't worried about it."


But the cough was only the beginning. Natalie's health quickly declined. She woke up her mother one night, soaked with sweat, and was rushed to the hospital. The news was astounding.

"They said, 'I'm sorry. She's not leaving here. She needs a heart transplant,'" her dad said.

There was a history of heart trouble in the family, but no one had ever had something so severe, so young.

Doctors thought she had only a matter of hours left to live. The situation was so dire the Make-a-Wish Foundation came to hear her fantasy.

For Natalie that was easy: She said she wanted to meet designer Vera Wang.

As she lay in the hospital, doctors said it was crucial that Natalie keep her spirits up. Her mother knew just the thing to help keep her heart beating.

"I'm like, 'Well, give her a sewing machine and a sketchbook. It really would make a difference,'" Susan said.

Dreaming of patterns and colors helped distract Natalie from her nightmarish situation. The family prayed for a miracle, and it came.

Five days later, a heart transplant match was found. Natalie made it through nine hours of transplant surgery.

Special Prom Night

She was on the road to recovery, when there was a second miracle.

Remember her wish?

Vera Wang invited Natalie and her family to her design shop in New York City for a day filled with surprises.

They talked design, shared patterns and Natalie learned some secrets of the coveted Vera Wang bridal gowns.

Then something even Natalie had not dreamed of happened: Wang offered to design her prom dress for her, which she wore over the weekend.

"It's kind of like a dream come true," Natalie said.