SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - Krystle Hamlin's heart is failing, but not her spirit.
"I always wanted to be a teacher," Hamlin said. "I want to go to every single state."
Despite the struggles throughout her life, Krystle dreams big. She says the heart she got when she was just eight days old has lasted longer than doctors expected. However, now its time is running out.
"Just a few short months ago, she was working, she was going to college, she was hanging out with her friends, she was feeling good, she was feeling healthy," Beth Beydler, Krystle's mother, said. "Then, all of the sudden things took a downward spiral."
Most heart transplants last around 15 years. Hamlin's has lasted 21 years.
"They told her she was only supposed to live until she was 18," said William Beydler, Krystle's brother. "She's 21 now."
Hamlin has been beating the odds all her life. Now, she hopes to do it again. Her name will go back on the heart transplant list in January.
"You just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and you have your days where you cry and you throw your fits and you scream and say 'This isn't fair!" But, you take it every day and you keep fighting every day. I mean, with all those transplants out there, you keep fighting every day because you realize how much life is a gift," Hamlin said.
Her fighting spirit gives hope to her family and inspiration to anyone who hears her story.
"You pick up your sword, you pick up your shield, and you say 'Let's go,' Hamlin said. "You did round one, let's get ready for round two. You keep fighting."
"I really admire her strength and her character," Beth Beydler said.
Even though the next few years hold many of challenges, Hamlin says she won't let that stop her from enjoying life.
"If you focus on everything that's going wrong, it'll destroy you. I've had days where I've thought 'This is not worth it.' But then, I look around and I see all my family and all the memories I've had with this first transplant that would have never happened. You just fight and you see the joy in the life, you see the silver lining," Hamlin said.
Hamlin and her family are struggling to meet medical payments. In addition to the heart transplant, Krystle also needs a kidney transplant. Her mother says all the bills are too much for the family to handle, especially considering that this is the second time for the family to go through the transplant process. If you'd like to help Krystle in her fight, please visit this website.