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NAMES IN THE NEWS : Cruise Cheers Girl Heart Patient

December 22, 1989| From Times Wire Services

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A 10-year-old Ft. Mill, S.C., girl waiting for a heart transplant was given permission to go home for Christmas, but not before she got a stellar sendoff from actor Tom Cruise.

"When he came in the room, her heart monitor showed her heart rate went up to 170 beats a minute," Ginger Mason said. "She was absolutely so excited she couldn't stand it."

Cruise, who was filming Paramount Pictures' "Days of Thunder" at Charlotte Motor Speedway, brought Brandi Mason a hat and shirt, autographed her pillowcase and then visited some of the other children at Charlotte Memorial Hospital on Thursday.

Doctors said they don't know when a heart will be available for Brandi, who was found to have myocarditis, a rare viral infection of the heart, in July.

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