MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WKRN) — A 10-year-old girl has finally returned to her Mt. Juliet home for the weekend after spending 10 weeks in a Nashville hospital amid her battle against T-cell lymphoma.
Even though Vivian Oettel still has a long road of chemotherapy ahead, her family said Friday, May 19 marked an important milestone in her cancer journey.
After spending months in The Children’s Hospital at TriStar Centennial, Vivian already had some ideas for her weekend at home.
“What are we going to do this weekend?” Jessica Oettel asked her daughter.
“Go swimming!” Vivian answered.
Community members in both Mt. Juliet and Nashville are celebrating the girl’s progress.
“The reason that she is here is prayer. I mean, that’s why we’re sitting here and going home is the power of prayer,” Jessica said.
For Vivian, chemo has been challenging.
“Long,” Vivian described. “A lot.”
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Back in April, News 2 reported Vivian contracted an unknown infection in her lungs during her most recent hospital stay, which resulted in her spending 10 days on a ventilator.
On top of that, Vivian is receiving weekly transfusions due to her low platelet counts.
“We are supposed to be done in June, but it’s looking like… at this point, we’re going to probably miss another year of school,” Jessica said.
However, her family is focusing on Vivian’s positive momentum.
“We couldn’t have done it without the support that we’ve had,” Jessica said.
One of the people cheering Vivian on is her favorite country star, Morgan Wallen.
Several weeks ago, Vivian’s parents told New 2 about her wish to meet Wallen once her health improves. The next day, the Morgan Wallen Foundation reached out.
Wallen even sent Vivian a personalized letter on her birthday, which said:
Happy Birthday Vivian!
I was told you’re getting better every day and I’m so happy to hear that. I wanted to give you something special for your birthday, so as soon as we can, I would love for you to come to one of my shows where we can meet in person as well, if you would like. Stay strong, get better and I will see you soon.
“Once she gets her counts up and she’s fully healthy and he’s fully healthy because he’s got some stuff going on too, we will figure something out to get them together, but that’s one of the biggest things she’s looking forward to,” Jessica explained. “I told her she’s got a very busy social schedule when she gets out of here. For someone who’s never went to a concert, she’s got quite a few.”
After this weekend, Jessica said Vivian will return to the hospital for a five-day chemo and antifungal treatment, but then she is expected to go back home.