Less than four months after Brandy helped her raise the funds needed to get a heart transplant, 17-year-old Jessica Harris has passed away.
Harris, who lived in the same town of McComb, Mississippi, where Brandy was raised, died at a New York hospital on Thursday, Brandy said.
The singer/actress started a campaign to raise funds for surgery to correct Jessica’s congenital heart defect after meeting Harris last year. The teen finally received the transplant in late February.
“Jessica was and will always be an inspiration to our family. In the face of her illness, her courageous spirit and positive outlook gave us memories we will cherish for a lifetime,” the singer and her family said in a statement on Friday.
“We were touched by the outpouring of generosity from the public when we set up a fund on her behalf to help cover her medical and travel expenses,” the statement added.
Brandy thanked those who donated to the fund and the hospital that carried out the heart transplant — the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital in New York.
Harris suffered from hypoplastic left heart syndrome, and was denied medical insurance through her father’s job because she was deemed to be suffering from a preexisting condition.
So sad… Rest In Peace Jessica