A baby boy from Orange County, California, was still in the womb when doctors told his family he had a severe heart defect. His family held little hope that he would survive birth, and even less hope that a donated heart would become available.
“I never bought him clothes. I never got anything. I was just scared,” said his mother, Nicole Eggleston.
Now, thanks to a miraculous heart transplant at three weeks old, he finally gets to go home from the hospital for the first time, KHOU reported.
Born with pulmonary artresia, the baby boy—named Dravyn Johnson—was born too weak to have his original heart repaired surgically. In fact, the extent of the disease was so severe, doctors feared he could arrest or die at any time.
He was placed on a transplant list—however the wait time was estimated to be as long as six months for an infant heart. However after just two days, a heart became available.
The heart that saved his life is roughly the size of a strawberry.
The surgery was performed at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA when Dravyn was 23 days—only 3 weeks—old. He is the youngest heart transplant recipient at that hospital in 25 years, and the second youngest in its history.
Dravyn’s family said he is recovering well, but will need to remain on medication—possibly throughout his whole life—and will need another transplant after about 20 years.
“He has more engery. I mean aside from his scar, he’s perfect,” said his mother.