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Starr Cookman (left) says she and Kylee Moreland Fenton have been "connected at the hip" since they were kids in Tucson, Ariz. (StoryCorps)

Best Friends, Sharing 'Two Sides Of The Same Heart'

by NPR Staff
Oct 18, 2013 (Morning Edition)

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Starr Cookman and Kylee Moreland Fenton have been inseparable since childhood. They live on the same street. Kylee, a nurse, was present for the delivery of Starr's son, Rowan. And when Rowan came home from the hospital breathing rapidly and spitting up his food, both friends were alarmed — even when the pediatrician said he was doing fine.

"Then I said, 'I'm concerned. Why would he just for no reason be breathing a hundred times a minute?' " Kylee recalls asking. With that, the doctor sent them to the children's hospital. That visit saved Rowan's life. There was something wrong with Rowan's heart — and he was rushed to surgery.

"And I remember like looking at you and thinking, 'Wow, we really are two sides of the same heart,' " Starr tells Kylee. "Boy, if we ever wondered why we were given this friendship ..."

Rowan is now almost 13, and not a day goes by, Kylee says, that she doesn't look at her friend's son and think about how lucky they are to have him.

Audio produced for Morning Edition by Nadia Reiman.This story is part of a collection of interviews in Ties That Bind, a book by StoryCorps founder Dave Isay.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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