Tag Archives: Heart

Heart transplant unites families after Elkhart girl’s death – South Bend Tribune

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SOUTH BEND — Valerie Matthews has taken a painful stroll down County Road 108 in Elkhart every year on May 16 to the spot where her daughter was hit by a pickup truck.
It may be time to stop. For five years, she says, it’s as if she’s been calling out to her 12-year-old daughter, Da’jeianna Smith: “I’m waiting for your heart to walk with me.”
They took that walk this week. Da’jeianna’s transplanted heart now beats inside of 20-year-old Dalton Igoe of Altoona, Pa., who came to visit.
Not only that. On Wednesday, Valerie and Dalton paddled kayaks for the first time in their lives on a pond at St. Patrick’s County Park. And Dalton scaled halfway up a climbing wall at the Family Passport to Play event at the park, then descended, saying, “I guess I’m still not a height person.”
“I can’t believe you did that,” said his mom, Dawn Igoe, as she watched another first-ever event.
“Me neither,” he replied.
None of that would have been possible without Da’jeianna’s heart.
Dalton was born with six congenital heart defects. He lost one lung because of blood clots. He wore a pacemaker to control his heart rate. But the ultimate reason for his transplant was from a condition that his bad heart had triggered: protein-losing enteropathy, where fluids swell in the stomach and, among other things, keep a youth from taking in food, leading to starvation.
He was in desperate shape, swollen and unable to walk. He needed a child’s heart.
After school on May 16, 2012, Valerie drove Da’jeianna back to her Elkhart school, Woodland Elementary, because the girl wanted to play with friends at the playground. Da’jeianna didn’t see her friends, so she began the almost 1-mile hike home along County Road 108. Just over halfway back, at about 5 p.m., a pickup truck hit Da’jeianna. The driver told police that he didn’t see her and that he didn’t realize he’d hit a child until people started shouting at him, according to an initial news report.
Da’jeianna, the second oldest out of four children, died the next day in the hospital. Valerie immediately agreed to donate her daughter’s organs. When Dawn Igoe got word that a transplant was available, she alerted friends, and that afternoon 40 to 50 of them gathered at their house. They prayed for Dalton’s success and for the family, unknown to them, who’d lost a girl.
Valerie knows that one of Da’jeianna’s eyes went to a woman in Elkhart and another to a woman in Chicago. Her kidneys went to two people, and her pancreas to yet another person. But she’s never met them.
The Pennsylvania organization that helped with the transplant, the Center for Organ Recovery and Education, also had brought these two families together for the first time two years ago in Pittsburgh.
That moment, Dalton says, was “surreal.”
“Not much was said in the first 20 minutes,” he recalls.
The families were in separate quarters of a Sheraton Hotel until — with six TV news crews tagging along — they met in a conference room overlooking the Monongahela River.
“A bunch of hugs and emotions running,” Dalton describes. “Just putting a face to the other side for both families.” And saying the words “thank you” and “sorry.”
Each family eventually shared the sagas that had brought them to that moment. But the visit, as part of a conference on organ transplants, was a brief 24 hours.
The next time they saw each other was when Dalton and his mom, Dawn, arrived Monday in Elkhart, starting a three days of emotions.
Monday’s rendezvous at a South Bend Cubs game, where Dalton threw out the first pitch, was joy and excitement “for the fact that we were all together again,” he says.
Tuesday was somber and deep as the families gathered at the site of the accident, where Valerie takes a memorial walk each year on the date of the crash.
“I really hate doing it,” Valerie says, because of what it recalls. She’s since moved to Goshen.
Leading up to it, Dalton was excited, nervous and curious because, until then, all he knew was that “she (Da’jeianna) was hit by a car walking on a road.”
This time, with both families around for support, Valerie walked and shared those accident details that Dalton and his mom didn’t know. And Dalton placed his hand on a memorial cross near the crash site as Valerie covered it with green spray paint to leave his silhouetted mark.
Dawn called her husband that night and couldn’t describe the feeling.
“It finished out what we wanted to realize,” Dalton says. “We experienced what she’s been doing.”
Valerie, who last week added Dalton’s name to the tattoos on her left arm, just over the shoulder from a tattoo of Da’jeianna’s face, says the best part is seeing how Dalton has grown.
“It gives me a sense of peace,” she says. “I can touch her.”
Wednesday began with picnic at the Elkhart cemetery where the girl is buried, a visit to an escape room in Mishawaka and then to St. Pat’s park and later bowling. It was a testament to Dalton’s physical capabilities, which wouldn’t have been possible “if not for the amazing gift.”
As a volunteer firefighter, Dalton also dons up to 120 pounds of gear for 20 or 30 minutes at a time to battle fires. With just one lung, he says, he can handle short periods of physical activity. Hot days make it a challenge, too, which he manages by resting and staying hydrated. Still, he’s joined his family on hikes, including five miles in Acadia National Park in Maine. He couldn’t qualify for sports, but he took up playing the drums, bowling and dancing to jazz and hip hop.
He recently gained certification as an emergency medical technician, or EMT, and began work full time as an ambulance driver, doing medical transports. His early life in and out of hospitals led him to being an EMT, he says, adding, “It’s my way of giving back to everyone who took care of me.”
He also gives 15 to 20 talks a year in Pennsylvania to advocate for organ transplants.
Da’jeianna’s heart does an “amazing” job, says Dalton, who takes the typical series of drugs to keep his body from rejecting it.
But the events of this week, he says, “strengthened both of us; it made us one big family.”

Link found between donor, infection in heart, lung transplant recipients – Science Daily

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The way in which heart and lung transplant recipients acquired a specific species of bacteria, Mycoplasma hominis, had been previously undefined, and the bacterium was difficult to test. Originally, this bacterium was considered to reside exclusively in, and be a potential pathogen of, the area of the reproductive and urinary organs — the genitourinary tract.

“This finding could affect how we approach the evaluation of organ donors,” says Mark Wylam, M.D., who led the team of Mayo Clinic researchers on this study. “If potential transmission of these harmful bacteria can be identified and addressed, the recipient will face a decreased risk of infection and its serious complications. This study shows us that surveillance of both donor and recipient are important in recognizing M. hominis and the infection it can cause.”

Heart and lung transplant recipient infection caused by M. hominis may present with pleurisy (inflammation of membrane in chest cavity and lungs), surgical site infection and mediastinitis (inflammation of tissue in mid-chest). M. hominis resists most antibiotics, and the three antibiotic treatment recommendations for these infections are neither standard for post-transplant recipient care nor are they standard in therapy regimens for surgical site infections.

The study, published recently in EBioMedicine, investigates Mayo Clinic lung and heart-lung transplants between 1998 and July 2015. Seven previously unreported cases of transplant recipients with M. hominis infection were discovered. In each case, pre-transplant sputum cultures had tested negative for M. hominis. Also, a literature review since 1950 found 15 cases of M. hominis infection in lung, heart or heart-lung transplant recipients. The way the germ spread remained uncertain. Given its normal residence in the genitourinary tract, some speculated that infection arose from urinary catheter placement during the transplant surgery.

Mayo investigators noted two particular cases of M. hominis infection that each had received a single lung transplant from the same donor, and no other patients in the hospital were infected by M. hominis. The samples of the M. hominis taken from each infected individual were genetically indistinguishable, suggesting the infections had the same source. This finding, in addition to two other observations, supported the likelihood that M. hominis could be passed from transplant donor to recipient.

Common testing methods have proven insufficient in identifying the bacteria, but the use of polymerase chain reaction detection developed by Robin Patel, M.D., director of Mayo Clinic’s Infectious Diseases Research Laboratory, offers a more time-sensitive and specific test for the bacteria. With this method, researchers zoom in on a certain portion of DNA and then create multiple copies to amplify the segment. Polymerase chain reaction detection reduces the time to detect M. hominis to a few hours, compared to the two to five days needed for a culture media test.

“The true rate of M. hominis infection may actually be higher than what we’ve seen reported,” says Dr. Wylam. “Better detection methods like PCR tests have given us more insight into how common this bacterium is in the airway, which is especially important in heart or lung transplant recipients. More research is needed to learn about these bacteria when it’s found far from its natural home in the genitourinary tract, and especially when it is transmitted to cardiothoracic transplant recipients.”

Story Source:Materials provided by Mayo Clinic. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Judge Backs Heart Transplant Program – WUSF News

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Jackson Memorial Hospital, which is approved to perform pediatric heart transplants, also weighed in against the Nicklaus proposal. But Watkins wrote, in part, that approving a certificate of need for Nicklaus wouldn’t harm Jackson Memorial or Joe and more »

Transplant recipient: ‘I don’t take one day for granted’ – Tribune-Review

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Updated less than a minute ago

Inside Brittany Grimm beats the heart of a 31-year-old man.

The 21-year-old college junior got a second chance at life 10 years ago when she received a heart transplant in Pittsburgh – an event that informs virtually everything about her life today.

“Every day I wake up and I thank my donor for me being here,” she said. “I don’t take one day for granted. I live life to the fullest.”

A communications major at Seton Hill University, Grimm used her experience to promote organ donation at the school’s annual spring picnic on Thursday. Grimm’s talk on the 10th anniversary of her heart transplant culminated a week of activities oriented around the importance of organ donation.

“I’ve made it my life’s goal to tell people how important organ donation is,” she said. “Without people signing up to be an organ donor, I wouldn’t be here.”

Her parents, Butch and Colleen Grimm of Erie, said not a day goes by that they don’t think about the transplant. “It’s always in the back of your mind,” Butch Grimm said. “Until you have a connection with someone who’s had a transplant, you really don’t know what it’s like.”

Grimm is literally the poster child for organ donation – she appears on promotional brochures for Donate Life Pennsylvania and the Center for Organ Recovery & Education. The latter, based in Pittsburgh, is one of 58 not-for-profit organ procurement organizations in the United States.

Forty-six percent of Pennsylvanians with a driver’s license or state ID have indicated their willingness to donate an organ or tissue, said CORE spokeswoman Colleen Sullivan.

“Not nearly enough people are checking that box,” she said.

Nationally, 118,000 people are on an organ transplant waiting list – 100,000 of them for a kidney transplant, Sullivan said.

Grimm started having heart troubles when she was 9 years old and became sick with pneumonia. A chest X-ray revealed an enlarged heart – a symptom of restrictive cardiomyopathy, a disease in which the heart does not pump blood properly and for which there is no cure.

Doctors monitored her for two years and then put her on a list for a heart transplant, which she received in 2007 at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. Her heart, which was three times its normal size, was replaced by the heart of a man who had suffered a massive seizure.

Grimm does not know the identity of the man but has written letters of gratitude that have been forwarded to his family.

Today, the 5-foot-tall woman has a 12-inch scar that is barely visible. Although she takes medicine to prevent her body’s rejection of the heart, she is physically active, volunteers as a campus tour guide and participates in the Transplant Games.

Seton Hill President Mary C. Finger held up Grimm as a model student on Thursday.

“Her personal story of the importance of organ donation spurred her to take action and continues to inspire others 10 years later. All of us at Seton Hill are proud to join in her tremendous advocacy for organ donation and to celebrate this important milestone in her life,” Finger said.

Also speaking at Thursday’s event was Craig J. Smith, 29, of Johnstown. Suffering from viral cardiomyopathy, he received his heart transplant at Allegheny General Hospital in 2015.

Shortly after moving to State College in 2014, Smith started experiencing symptoms of the disease. He was put on a left ventricular assist device for a year and a half while he awaited a transplant.

Smith promotes organ donation through his nonprofit organization, Second Chance Fundraising.

To register to be an organ and tissue donor, go to www.DonateLifePA.org/registration.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-1280, shuba@tribweb.com or via Twitter @shuba_trib.

Mother gets chance to hear, feel daughter’s heart beat in transplant recipient – WFLA

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Garrett Leopold was born in 1996 with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. The left side of his heart was underdeveloped.

At just three-months-old, Leopold needed his first heart transplant.

Amanda Pierce was born a healthy little girl who lived a blessed life until 2013, her senior year in high school.

A car accident changed everything.

Pierce was left brain dead at 18-years-old and 16-year-old Garrett was in dire need of a second heart transplant.

Pierce would be the one to give him a second chance at life.

Stacie Schaible has much more on this story in the video above.



Plans to establish child heart transplant programme – Irish Times

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Plans are being made to establish the first Irish heart transplant programme for children, amid safety concerns about current arrangements that see patients transferred to England for their operations.

Officials from the Organ Donation and Transplant Ireland office met medical staff at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital earlier this month to propose setting up the State’s first paediatric heart transplant programme.

The clinical expertise to set up a programme and carry out the operations now exists in Ireland, according to Prof Jim Egan, director of Organ Donation and Transplant Ireland. Discussions are ongoing with UK authorities about formal arrangements for sharing donated organs between the two jurisdictions, he said.

Although individual paediatric cardiac transplants have been carried out in the Republic in the past, there is no programme and children are generally sent to London or Newcastle for their operations. This is due to the low numbers involved – about a handful a year – and the low number of donor hearts that come available.

Died waiting for transplant

Last month, 10-year-old Gavin Coyne died in England while waiting for a heart transplant, after which his family called for a paediatric transplant unit here.

It has also emerged that children awaiting a transplant in the UK cannot be guaranteed transport within the required time frame due to staffing difficulties in the Air Corps.

Prof Egan said that while no problems had arisen on specific transports, there was a risk and the situation was “challenging”. “If you’re trying to get a child requiring a new heart from Galway to London within four hours and there’s a storm, that’s not easy.”

Fourteen children were referred to the UK last year for heart transplants. The HSE paid the UK’s National Health Service over €500,000 for the service in 2015.

Crumlin hospital would have to be approved as a transplant centre by the Health Products Regulatory Authority before any operations could be performed there. Dr Egan estimated it could take several years before the programme became a reality.

Meanwhile, Minister for Health Simon Harris said proposals for the creation of an opt-out system of consent for organ donations will be brought to Cabinet shortly.

Mr Harris said the proposals, replacing the current system whereby potential donors have to opt in, would be developed as part of an over-arching policy on human tissue. A public consultation on the proposals would be required first and this will be launched before the end of the summer.

Donor opportunities

Very few people die in circumstances where their organs can be used for transplants so it is incumbent on policymakers and doctors to ensure all donor opportunities are followed up and that they lead to transplants, where possible, according to Mr Harris.

Speaking at the launch of Organ Donation Awareness Week, the Minister suggested the donor population could be expanded by extending criteria for donations, extending the age of potential donors and using medical technology to harvest organs not previously considered.

A record 50 kidney transplants were carried out last year using organs provided by living donors. Overall, 280 organ transplants were carried out, the second highest yearly total since the programme began. A further 16 Irish patients, including nine children, received transplants in the UK.

Last year saw 172 kidney transplants, up from 153 in 2015. The highest number was recorded in 2013, when 185 kidney transplants were performed.

Finding deceased donors has become more difficult with the fall in road traffic deaths over recent years, but the living donor programme continues to grow. Last year, there were 77 deceased donors and 50 living donors, up from 33 in 2015.

In addition, 58 liver transplants were carried out at St Vincent’s last year, along with 35 lung transplants and 15 heart transplants at the Mater Hospital.

Organ Donor Awareness Week runs from April 1st to 8th.

Heart Walk will honor infant transplant recipient – Herald & Review

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MATTOON — Lake Land College will host on April the 2017 East Central Illinois Heart Walk, which will honor Mattoon infant Zale Walk, who is a heart transplant recipient.
Teams of walkers are being sought for the Heart Walk, a fundraising and community outreach event that is part of the American Heart Association’s fight against heart disease and stroke.
“It is a celebration of those who are survivors and a tribute to those we have lost,” said Carol Floyd, field operations director for the association.
Floyd, a former Mattoon resident, said Zale has been chosen as the honorary chairman for this year’s Heart Walk because his parents, Vince and Katie Walk, have a wonderful story to tell. She said this story shows the local impact of the type of research and development that the Heart Association funds.
Before he was born on April 18, Zale’s parents learned that he needed a heart transplant due to a valve defect. A little more than four months after his birth, Zale received his new heart and became the 250th transplant recipient at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
“That is his other birthday. That is his heart birthday,” Vince Walk said of the Aug. 22 transplant.
Vince Walk said his son has been doing well, despite a weakened immune system, and has been home since late January. Walk said he has appreciated all the support he and his family have received from the community, including his students at Mattoon High School.
Walk said he also appreciates the Heart Association’s efforts to fund research for treating heart-related ailments and he hopes that Zale’s involvement with the Heart Walk will help bring more attention to these efforts.
“You never know when you are going to be faced with something like that,” Walk said.
The association holds Heart Walks as fundraisers for research, education and awareness programs in the fight against heart disease and stroke, which the association reports are “America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers.”
Heart Walk teams are comprised of heart disease and stroke survivors, employees from local businesses, and other community members. To receive this year’s Heart Walk T-shirt, walkers are encouraged to raise $100 or more by collecting donations from the community.
Floyd said the Heart Walk has been held indoors at various local venues in past years, but Lake Land’s offer of the use of its campus will provide a great opportunity for an outdoor walk.
“The original intent was to get people outside and moving as a family,” Floyd said. “Exercise and diet are key to heart healthy lifestyles.”
Jean Anne Grunloh, senior executive to Lake Land’s president, said the college is honored to host this year’s Heart Walk.
Grunloh said the campus will provide a beautiful venue for the walk and the West Building’s large Farm Credit Room can provide indoor space for the opening ceremonies and other activities. She added that the walk could be moved into this building’s wide corridors if it rains.
In addition, Grunloh said the Heart Walk will provide a great community service opportunity for Lake Land and its Allied Health Division students.
“We want to promote heart-healthy lifestyles. We serve students and we serve the community, so we though it was appropriate for us to do that,” Grunloh said of hosting the Heart Walk.
Registration is set for noon April 29 at the West Building, followed by the opening ceremonies at 1 p.m. and the walk at 1:30 p.m.
This year’s event will feature half-mile and three-mile walks. Booths at the walk will offer health screenings and more. Other activities will include a tribute wall, a Survivor Lunch provided by Subway, nutritious snacks, “Hands Only CPR” lessons, and team photos.
Subway and Walgreens are national Heart Walk sponsors. Local sponsors include Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center, First Mid Illinois Bank & Trust, First Mid Illinois Insurance, and Consolidated Communications. Bub McCullough and Renee Fonner of Cromwell Radio Group’s 101.3 WMCI will be the emcees.

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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:


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.

Marengo teen undergoes heart transplant – Northwest Herald

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MARENGO – Marengo teen Logan Vallee, 16, faces months of recuperation after undergoing a heart transplant this week, which came after two weeks of waiting at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago.

Logan was born with a heart defect, and the family knew he eventually would need a transplant.

The family has lived in Marengo for nearly 20 years, and the community has rallied around the family in its time of need.

When Logan was admitted, the family didn’t know how long it would have to wait for a heart to become available. Doctors gave an estimated wait time of six weeks to seven months, said Logan’s mother, Trish Vallee.

“We just [had] to hope and pray for the perfect match,” she said. “It’s kind of heart-wrenching, too, knowing that someone else’s loved one has to die for ours to survive.”

Logan was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a birth defect that affects blood flow. The teenager has had eight open-heart surgeries, 11 strokes and two seizures from epilepsy during the course of his life, his mother said.

Family members knew the surgery was going to be necessary down the road, but they were hoping it could wait until he was a little older.

Community support for Logan – who his mother described as caring, sweet and unbelievably strong – has been overwhelming, Trish Vallee said.

“I am blessed with an amazing group of girlfriends, and they started making T-shirts that say #TeamLogan,” she said. “The website was up for two days and sold 300 shirts. … School support has been phenomenal. We are very blessed.”

Logan likely will be in the hospital for another two to three weeks before going to the Ronald McDonald House for follow-up care to make sure his body doesn’t reject the new heart, family friend Stacy Scow said.

“The best-case scenario is for him to be home in six to eight weeks, but it kind of depends on how he does there,” Scow said. “And after that, he still has to go down to the hospital a few times a week for infusions to help with chances against rejections.”

Scow said that Team Logan is working on organizing fundraising events for the Vallee family. At a recent Marengo High School basketball game, students wore red in support of their classmate.

“It makes me cry just thinking of it,” Scow said. “The support has been overwhelming.”

To buy a Team Logan shirt, visit www.booster.com/teamloganvallee.

To stay up to date on Logan’s progress, visit shawurl.com/TeamLogan.

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Baby get lifesaving heart transplant moments after church halts service to pray for her – WBTV

This was originally published on this site

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) –In the darkest of moments some find light shining under the steeple. Faith was all Melanie and Mike Leitner could cling to after hearing their precious baby girl may not live to see her first birthday.

“We were told that Ella had a large mass in the left ventricle of her heart and to prepare ourselves that she would not make it through the weekend,” Melanie said.

Dr. Gonzalo Wallis is the Medical Director over Levine Children’s Hospital’s pediatric heart transplant program. He says it didn’t take long for them to decide a transplant was Ella Kate’s only chance to survive.

“We were in a race against time for Ella Kate, she was starting to get very sick,” he said.

In November, her name went on the transplant list as the tiny baby’s body continued to fail.

“I had actually called into cardiology and I had said, ‘she’s getting worse. She’s gray all the time and she’s not breathing well and she’s making these gasping sounds,'” Melanie said.

Two months later on January 29, Melanie and Mike found comfort in their sanctuary as their pastor at Abundant Life Foursquare Church in Mooresville stopped the service.

“Said our little girl is failing, she’s getting sicker and we need to pray. They prayed over her and they prayed over us,” she said.

As they prayed over Ella Kate, another prayer was being said in Charlotte as the hospital dedicated its new MedCenter aircraft. Two prayers. Around the same time.

That plane would pick up Ella Kate’s new heart a few hours later.

“On our way home from church we got the call that changed our world. Celine, our other coordinator, called and said we got the offer for the perfect heart for Ella,” Melanie said. “If this wasn’t a God moment, I don’t know what could be.”

What’s even more interesting is that the heart beating inside Ella Kate isn’t her blood type. Surgeons performed what’s known as an ABO incompatible heart transplant. It was Levine’s first ever.

“I was seeing a child get sick in front of my eyes and I had nothing to offer, and finally we do this and they’re doing great,” Dr. Wallis said.

At one year and one week old, Ella Kate is thriving. But her parents don’t forget their joy came out of someone’s loss.

“You know that another family has lost their child, and you know that in their darkest moments they were able make the decision that saved my little girl,” Melanie said. “We will be eternally grateful for that.”

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