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Fort Wayne young woman in need of heart transplant walks for graduation at Huntington University

Saturday, May 25, 2013 - 12:01 am

Leah Smith used a wheelchair to get to the platform at graduation May 18 at Huntington University in Huntington, but she was determined to walk across like other students — and she did.

Regular readers of The News-Sentinel may remember our previous stories about Smith, including the most recent one April 8.

The Fort Wayne resident was born without the lower left chamber of her heart and received a heart transplant at 11 days old. She went on to win multiple state figure-skating championships and awards in competitive ballroom dancing.

But her donated heart now is giving out, and Smith needs to undergo another heart transplant.

Smith has been trying to complete college while also hoping for a heart transplant. She went through the graduation ceremony May 18 with her class at the Merillat Complex Fieldhouse. But she officially won't complete all requirements for her bachelor's degree in broadcasting until July, a university official said.