Sisters’ joy as heart transplant baby brother finally goes home after spending ENTIRE life in hospital – Mirror.co.uk

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For the past 10 months, little Nora and Ava Dolan have been unable to properly hug or play with their baby brother.

Born 12 weeks early with two serious heart conditions, the sisters’ beloved sibling, Henry, was unable to leave hospital.

Hooked up to tubes and wires, the youngster battled through infections, adverse drug reactions and a series of operations.

But now, he has gone home for the first time in his life – five months after undergoing a life-saving heart transplant.

Henry was pictured leaving St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri, US, on Tuesday with his delighted parents, Mollie and Sam.

Nora, two, and Ava Dolan, five, play with their baby brother, Henry, at home

Nora, two, and Ava Dolan, five, play with their baby brother, Henry, at home

The adorable youngster wears a "This Warrior Is Going Home" baby grow

The adorable youngster wears a “This Warrior Is Going Home” baby grow

Henry was born 12 weeks early last May with two serious heart conditions

Henry was born 12 weeks early last May with two serious heart conditions
Dressed in a “This Warrior Is Going Home” baby grow, he was pushed out of the facility in a pram, decorated with two bright balloons.

His parents later said they would “never forget” the special day.

And they were not the only ones excited to have Henry home.

Nora and Ava were pictured playing on their living room floor with their baby brother, gently touching his hands and stomach.

The girls, aged two and five, had spent the past 10 months FaceTiming their sibling from their home in Annandale, Minnesota.

Because St Louis Children’s Hospital is situated 600 miles away from the house, it had been difficult for the pair to visit Henry.

With her brother in hospital, Nora took to carrying a specially-made doll version of him everywhere

With her brother in hospital, Nora took to carrying a specially-made doll version of him everywhere

Henry's mum, Mollie, said she will "never forget" the day she brought her son home from hospital

Henry’s mum, Mollie, said she will “never forget” the day she brought her son home from hospital

But now, they can see him in person every day.

They can also give him a proper hug.

While her little brother was in hospital, Nora had taken to carrying a specially-made doll version of him everywhere she went.

She would often stop to cuddle, kiss or speak to her ‘baby Henry’, ignoring the tubes, bandages and scars on the doll’s body.

Like the real-life Henry, the toy has tubes attached to its nose and mouth, a wire fixed to its chest, and even a scar over its heart.

Mum Mollie previously told Mirror Online the doll was created by the talented friend of another parent whose child has heart problems.

Henry's mum, dad Sam and two older sisters pose beside a banner reading: "Hope for Henry"

Henry’s mum, dad Sam and two older sisters pose beside a banner reading: “Hope for Henry”

Mollie and Sam live-blogged their baby son’s life-saving heart transplant last October

Mollie and Sam live-blogged their baby son’s life-saving heart transplant last October

Video thumbnail, Henry goes off for his successful heart transplant

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She added that it helped her daughters to deal with their brother’s absence.

Mollie, who live-blogged her baby son’s life-saving heart transplant last October, said: “My daughters love the doll, especially our youngest daughter Nora.

“She walks around the house calling it her ‘baby Henry’. When she can’t find it, she says, ‘Where’d my baby Henry go?’ It’s so cute.

“As far as coping goes, she doesn’t fully understand things yet, but she knows baby Henry is sick and that he’s in the hospital getting better.”

She added that Nora carried the doll “everywhere” and really looked forward to the day when she can properly hug her baby brother for the first time.

Mollie, who remained at Henry’s bedside during his time in hospital, told Mirror Online: “Because we are so many miles apart, we FaceTime every day.

Little Henry beams from his hospital bed shortly before being allowed home

Little Henry beams from his hospital bed shortly before being allowed home

Nora's doll has tubes attached to its nose and mouth, a wire fixed to its chest, and even a scar over its heart

Nora’s doll has tubes attached to its nose and mouth, a wire fixed to its chest, and even a scar over its heart
“The first thing she says to me on the phone is, ‘You at the hospital with baby Henry mom, can I see him? I be quiet, mom.’ It’s the cutest thing ever.

“We all just cannot wait to be together under one roof. The girls have so much love to give to their little brother when he gets home.”

This week, the mum-of-three posted a photo on Facebook of her and her husband taking their son home from hospital for the first time.

She wrote: “March 14th, 2017. A day we will never forget. After 10 months, 316 days, 7,584 hours, 455,040 minutes AND 27,302,400 seconds.”

She later posted a video of Ava making her baby brother giggle.

She captioned the footage: “Well we survived our first night! And Henry’s definitely not lacking any attention around here.”

Mollie is pictured celebrating Halloween with Henry last year as he 'fought withdrawals'

Mollie is pictured celebrating Halloween with Henry last year as he ‘fought withdrawals’

Sam tenderly places his hand on the infant's head at St Louis Children's Hospital in Missouri, US

Sam tenderly places his hand on the infant’s head at St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri, US
Little Henry had spent his entire life in hospital after being born 12 weeks early, weighing just 2lbs, 11oz, on May 2 last year.

He was later diagnosed with two serious heart conditions, resulting in him needing an organ transplant to save his life.

His devoted family faced an anxious wait for a new heart, while he slowly built up his size and strength in intensive care.

Finally, five months after his birth, his parents received the news they were hoping for – there was a heart ready for him.

Last August, Henry was transferred to the Missouri-based hospital from a facility in Minnesota ahead of his transplant.

Taking to Facebook on October 15, Mollie and Sam said they were speechless after being told their baby would soon be undergoing a transplant.

Henry had spent his entire life in hospital after being born 12 weeks early, weighing just 2lbs, 11oz, on May 2

Henry had spent his entire life in hospital after being born 12 weeks early, weighing just 2lbs, 11oz, on May 2

Surgeons prepare to work on the baby's body as he undergoes the transplant

Surgeons prepare to work on the baby’s body as he undergoes the transplant
They added: “Please be praying for us and the donor family as we know they are going through unimaginable grief.”

The following morning, Henry was wheeled into surgery, covered in tubes, after being given ‘major snuggles’ by his emotional mum.

Mollie begged her friends to ‘pray’ for the tot, while warning them that she would be posting graphic images of his surgery.

Writing on the Facebook page, Hope for Henry, she said: “Just a pre-warning, I do intend to post pictures and videos from surgery throughout the day. So if you have a weak stomach, you may want to avoid his posts for the remainder of the day.”

She then proceeded to provide incredible updates on Henry and his progress as he was fitted with the new heart by a team of surgeons.

The updates – featuring pictures and information – were sent to Mollie and Sam by doctors inside the operating room via the texting application, EASE.

Mollie begged her friends to ‘pray’ for the tot ahead of his major operation

Mollie begged her friends to ‘pray’ for the tot ahead of his major operation
They included images of the baby’s old and new hearts, his medical team and a bypass machine used to keep blood pumping around his body.

Brilliantly, the surgery was a success, with the final update showing a moving video of Henry’s ‘perfect’ heartbeat following the transplant.

However, the little boy later had to “fight withdrawals”. He also faced further surgery and, at one point, contracted pneumonia.

Despite this, he has now been able to go home with his family – although he still has tubes in his nose and needs supplied oxygen.

A ‘Meal Train’ appeal has been launched for the Dolans so they have “one less thing to worry about” following Henry’s discharge from hospital.

To view the online page, click here.

Below are the live updates from throughout Henry’s surgery on October 16:

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

Henry wheeled into surgery

Mollie and Sam’s first update revealed that their son was ‘ready for surgery’.

It said: “Dr Eghtesady and his team are placing drapes now. Henry is doing great.”

Operation begins

The second update said the surgical team had started their work.

It added: “Henry is doing well.”

Henry’s new heart arrives

The third update featured a photo of a box, containing Henry’s new heart.

The baby’s parents wrote of the image: “Oh. My. Goodness!!!!”

Henry's new heart arrives in theatre

Henry’s new heart arrives in theatre

Henry’s old heart beats

The fourth update included a video of Henry’s old heart beating in a small, white tub.

It also revealed that the baby was ‘doing great’.

The infant's old heart is seen beating in a small, white tub

The infant’s old heart is seen beating in a small, white tub

Video thumbnail, Henry's heart still beats even after its been removed

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Surgeons work on the organ

The fifth update featured a close-up image of the lead surgeon working on Henry’s new organ.

The lead surgeon works on Henry's new organ

The lead surgeon works on Henry’s new organ

Bypass machine pumps blood

The six update included an image of a bypass machine, which was being used by doctors to temporarily pump blood around Henry’s body.

It said the machine would be removed after the baby’s new heart had been ‘placed’.

Surgeons reconnect Henry’s vessels

The seventh update featured a close-up of Henry’s open chest.

It said: “Dr Eghtesady is working on reconnecting all of Henry’s vessels.”

It added: “Henry is doing well.”

The youngster’s parents wrote of the update: “Isn’t this unbelievable? Simply incredible.”

It’s a success!

The final update revealed the surgery had gone ‘according to plan’.

It also featured a video of Henry’s ‘perfect beat, to his new heart’.

The baby’s overjoyed parents wrote: “The surgeon just came in to visit with us. They’re all finished. He said everything went according to plan, with no surprises.”

“However, we are still having a little issues with rhythm. He has a temporary pacemaker until things settle out!”

They added: “God is good. Thank you Jesus! Thank you prayer warriors! We are still waiting to be reunited [with Henry].”

To keep up to date with Henry’s progress, you can ‘like’ his Facebook page .

A GoFundMe page has also been set up to raise $50,000 to help his family pay for his medical bills. To donate to the page, click here.

Henry’s parents also wish to encourage people across the U.S. – and the world – to sign up as organ donors. For more information, click here.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/sisters-joy-heart-transplant-baby-10032214

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