Teen With Blood Disorder Reunites With Family Dogs After Spending a Year in Hospital

"There was sheer joy on her face when she saw them," mom Amy Reimer said.

ByNICOLE PELLETIERE
October 11, 2016, 1:37 PM

— -- A teen fighting a rare blood disorder has been reunited with her beloved dogs, after spending over a year in inpatient care.

"There was sheer joy on her face when she saw them," mom Amy Reimer of Nixa, Missouri told ABC News today. "It seemed like it was a little piece of home having them come and see her. It had been a long time."

At 9 months old, Emily Reimer, 19, was diagnosed with Diamond-Blackfan anemia (DBA), which is a bone marrow disorder that prevents the body from producing enough red blood cells.

PHOTO: Emily Reimer, 19, of Nixa, Missouri, in an undated photo with her mother, Amy Reimer.
Emily Reimer, 19, of Nixa, Missouri, in an undated photo with her mother, Amy Reimer.
Amy Reimer

Reimer, a mom of 3, said her eldest daughter was on steroid treatments until age 13, then endured regular blood transfusions for the following five years.

On July 4, 2015, Emily had a bone marrow transplant and, later, open heart surgery. On May 30 of this year, she was transferred to St. Louis Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.

Since she was in the hospital for a year and a half, Emily was unable to see her family dogs.

Emily enjoyed visits from the hospital's therapy dogs. But when she was placed in isolation due to a staph infection, Reimer said the visits stopped.

In early October, St. Louis Children’s Hospital coordinated a visit with Emily and her pups to "lift her spirits," a representative told ABC News.

PHOTO: Emily Reimer, 19, of Nixa, Missouri, in an undated photo with her sister, Allison Reimer, 11.
Emily Reimer, 19, of Nixa, Missouri, in an undated photo with her sister, Allison Reimer, 11.
Amy Reimer

The reunion was captured on video as Emily interacted with her Havanese, Casper, and grandparents' poodle, Thor.

"Emily loves animals, period. So it was very helpful to her morale to have her dogs there," Reimer said. "Being inpatient, it gets hard to keep her going and keep her spirits up. It gave her a little bit of new life. I was happy to see her happy."

Reimer said Emily is doing well and hopes to return home soon.

"She's just an amazing kid whose been through a lot and gets up fighting everyday," she said. "She's been my biggest teacher. She handles herself with a lot of grace and humor. She's a pretty funny kid."

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