Girl who made wallet for Russell Wilson has heart transplant

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by JOHN LANGELER / KING 5 News

KREM.com

Posted on September 30, 2013 at 8:39 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 7:04 AM

SEATTLE -- A Shelton girl woke from a heart transplant at Seattle Children's Hospital days after her gift of a duct tape wallet for Seahawks QB Russell Wilson got national attention.

Eleven-year-old Allison Christensen is slowly communicating with her family, according to sister Nicole Christensen.

Allison Christensen was admitted in July after experiencing stomach pains.  Doctors later found an enlarged heart too weak for any treatment beyond transplant.

"It was so close that we were going to lose her," Allison's father Mark said Friday. "Her system was shutting down and they couldn't get it started again.

"We were told 14 days," he said.

Allison lived far beyond two weeks, and according to her family, that is largely thanks to anticipation for meeting Seattle Seahawks star Russell Wilson.

"She knew she was going to get to meet him all along," Mark Christensen said. "She had that belief and faith that sustained her.  It helped keep her alive."

Wilson visits Seattle Children's on Tuesday, and this week met Allison.  She gave him a handmade duct tape wallet covered in Seahawks labels.

Christensen said she learned how to make the wallets from an online video, and was selling them from her hospital bed because she was concerned of how much her stay was costing the family.

"She'd been making the wallets," Christensen said. "The nurses and doctors were lining up to buy them.  $4.25 for the most expensive ones."

Wilson got his for free, and Thursday showed it at a press conference.  The images soon went viral, and Allison's gift went all over the internet.

"I didn't think it would get to this at all," commented Allison's older sister Nicole, who posted pictures online. "All for making a duct tape wallet.  Who would think?"

While the internet was buzzing, Allison was getting a heart transplant, something that was unexpected.

"What a gift from God," her father explained.

Friday, Allison started waking from the procedure.  Her family cannot wait to nurse her to health, and explain how famous she became.

"Guess what's going on with you Miss Popular," Nicole said, smiling.

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