Tri-Cities unites for "Operation Zoey" - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tri-Cities unites for "Operation Zoey"

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TRI-CITIES, WA - Little Zoey Lorenz has seen a lot in her three short months of life.

"She is really strong, she can do anything," said Stacy Lorenz, Zoey's mom. "It's been really eye-opening. crazy emotions, ups and downs."

After a normal delivery at 37 weeks, Zoey's first few days turned scary after doctors discovered she has two congenital heart defects.

Multiple emergency room visits and two Life Flights to Sacred Heart in Spokane later, Zoey had open heart surgery... leaving her parents with medical bills over $60,000.

"Children with heart defects though, they don't necessarily look sick, but they are internally sick too, so that's hard to explain to people, 'hey, your kid looks healthy,' but in reality, you know, they're not," Stacy explained.

In a matter of days, Zoey's parents, Scott and Stacy, said their world turned upside down. 

Enter Matt Cieslar, longtime friend and owner of local gun shop Talos Tactical.

"I have two girls myself and in fact, there's three of us that work in here that go home every night to two little girls," Cieslar said, "and so it was very personal to all of us, because it could have been any one of us that could have gone through this."

He's spearheading a unique fundraiser called Operation Zoey this weekend, and Zoey's future looks great.

"It'll teach her that there's no obstacle that's going to hold her back because look how far you've come already and you're twelve weeks old," Stacy said.

If you'd like to help Zoey, visit her GoFundMe page: