DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Durham 5-year-old Mical Olaiz is just like any other girl her age. She likes to laugh, play -- and really just be a kid.
But what you wouldn't know is about the health issue she's been dealing with since before she was born.
Mical was born with Hypoplastic left heart syndrome, "which means the left side of the heart doesn't really develop," her mom, Lara, told ABC11.
Without surgery, those born with the defect live for only a few weeks.
So Mical had to have surgery. Three of them to be exact.
"We couldn't be more grateful. She's been through a lot. Thankfully for the most she can remember, it was nothing!" Lara said. "Last year she had her last surgery and she can't remember much. And that's awesome because she can live a normal life. She can do anything she wants. She doesn't have any limitations in her activities or her hobbies. Like, she just lives her life! Which is what we all wanted."
Part of living that normal life? Playing with her dolls.
Even though Mical's American Girl doll, Mia, looked mostly like her, she was missing the scar that remains on Mical's chest from previous surgeries.
"I read an article about Dr. Lodge performing a surgery for another little girl on an American doll," said Lara. "And I texted her (the nurse) and said, 'wow that's amazing he did that for her. That is really amazing!' I would have not expected Dr. Lodge to do that. I mean, he's really kind. But nothing like that."
"I asked Mical if she would be OK and she wanted Mia to have a surgery so she could have a scar like her. So I gave her the option and she said yes."
Dr. Andrew Lodge performed the heart "surgery" on the doll last week.
"I mean who will take time from such a busy schedule and from such stressful work to do a thing like this? I'm just truly impressed by the amount of detail they put into this," Lara said about the surgeons.
"She is very special to me. And I love her so much," Mical told ABC11. "And she has a scar just like me!"
Mia was sent home with special instructions on how to make sure she recovers properly.
"I order kisses and hugs. Blow bubbles. And a lot of playtime," said Mical.
"She has so many dreams just like other kids," Lara said of her daughter. "And if you see her playing around with other kids, you'll never know. She's been through an amazing story and she's such a brave girl."