Race Against Time for Baby in Need of Heart, Lung Transplant

PHOTO: Olive Kang has been defying the odds for more than a year, but time is running out for her to get the heart-lung transplant.PlayRobin Kang
WATCH Race Against Time for Baby in Need of Transplants

Shortly after baby Olive Kang was born, doctors told her parents that because she had a rare heart defect, she would only survive two weeks -- maybe two months if she was lucky.

She's been defying the odds for more than a year, but time is running out for her to get the heart-lung transplant she needs to survive, her mother, Robin Kang told ABC News.

"She's funky and feisty," Kang said of her 16-month-old, who likes to wink and blow kisses when she's feeling good. "In the last two weeks, it seems like Olive is not -- she can't seem to hold her own without high-flow oxygen. They pretty much told us there was nothing they could do. We've heard that before, but we can physically see with our eyes that she's not able to support herself."

PHOTO: Olive Kang has been defying the odds for more than a year, but time is running out for her to get the heart-lung transplant.Robin Kang
Olive Kang has been defying the odds for more than a year, but time is running out for her to get the heart-lung transplant.

Olive has was born with several heart and lung conditions, tetralogy of Fallot, pulmonary atresia, and major aortopulmonary collateral arteries. All of these things combined render her heart and lungs unable to sufficiently provide oxygenated blood to the rest of her body. She's undergone several procedures, including cardiac catheterization to widen her pulmonary veins, but they're scarring and closing fast.

Olive has been waiting for a new heart and new lungs for the last 10 months on the organ transplant waiting list.

According to data from the Organ Transplant and Procurement Network, an organization under contract with the federal government to allocate organs, 21 people die each day waiting for an organ transplant that never comes, and a new person is added to the transplant waiting list every 10 minutes.

Organ transplants for children so young are even more scarce. Last year, of the 27,036 heart/lung transplants performed, only 252 were in children under a year old and 462 were performed in children between 1 and 5 years old.

Kang's aunt, actress Moon Bloodgood, made a YouTube video to raise awareness about organ donation "so that beautiful children, like my niece, Olive, have a chance at a normal life."

"Please, please consider organ donation for people of all ages," Bloodgood said into the camera. "It is truly the best thing that you can give."