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ENDURING HEARTS STORY

During a family vacation to Disney World, the Gahan’s 18-month-old daughter, Mya started having shortness of breath and ended up at a local hospital in Orlando.  Their seemingly healthy child was having heart failure and was sent immediately home to Atlanta where they were told she needed a heart transplant for a chance of survival.  Mya and her family waited for six months, living on the transplant list at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, before receiving the gift of life.

CHILDREN’S STORIES

Mya’s Story
Mya was 15 months old, and on a family vacation to Disney World, when she went into heart failure…
Riley’s Story
Riley was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy days after being born. She was immediately placed…
Grace’s Story
Grace was born on Easter Sunday in 2003 and was diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart, as…
Emery’s Story
Emery was born on July 30, 2008, with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). Her parents received the…
Kaleb’s Story
Kaleb was born on June 9, 2015 perfectly healthy, we thought. Around 2 months old we started to notice he was…
Eliot’s Story
Eliot was born a healthy baby. It wasn’t until Eliot was 15 and started having feelings that his heart was…
Everett’s Story
Everett’s transplant journey started while he was in utero. As first-time parents, Kelley and Jeremy Gray were beyond excited when they learned the news of their pregnancy.
Mallory’s Story
Mallory was born on April 24, 2012, as a healthy baby. Ten days later she was rushed to the hospital due to trouble breathing. After hours in the emergency room, Mallory was diagnosed with Myocarditis – an unknown virus was attacking her heart.
John’s Story
John received his heart transplant in April 2018. He had endured 4 open heart surgeries up to that point…
Miguel’s Story
Miguel was born with only half of his heart functioning His mother was terrified of losing him, but never lost hope that he would make it to this day!…
Adrian’s Story
Adrian was diagnosed with 3 heart defects at his 20-week anatomy scan…
Breyleigh’s Story
Breyleigh Elise Bannister was born on December 13, 2015. We knew in utero that Breyleigh had severe heart defects but we just did not know just how severe until birth…
Olivia’s Story
Olivia is a typical 13-year-old girl. At first glance, you would think she probably has a “normal,” happy life. As her mother, I can confirm that she has an abundance of Joy but “normal” couldn’t be farther from the truth…
Harry’s Story
Harrison (Harry Potter) is a 16-month-old, born with HRHS (PAIVS). Just 3 days after he was born his cardiologists discovered that he was completely missing his right coronary artery and was at high risk for SIDS. He was listed for transplant at 18 days old and we waited as an inpatient…
Rexford’s Story
Rexford received a heart transplant at Motts on Nov. 24, 2018. Before his transplant, he was diagnosed with restrictive cardiomyopathy on March 21, 2018, after suffering a cardiac arrest at school. Rexford was a healthy 8-year-old boy who played sports and lived a very normal life until that day.
Micah’s Story
Micah was 15 years old when he came down with a cold in December 2017. On January 12 he woke up in the middle of the night & said he was having trouble breathing…
Austin’s Story
Austin was born healthy but when he was 8 he developed persistent flu like symptoms that prompted a visit to our community hospital…
Mason’s Story
Mason was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome when his mom was 5 months pregnant. His first surgery was at 3 days old…
George’s Story
George is 3.5 years old and just recently received his second heart transplant…
Brody’s Story
Brody was born healthy but fell into cardiac arrest at just seven weeks old…
Gary’s Story
Gary is a 16-year-old sophomore who received a heart transplant at Vanderbilt Pediatric Cardiology 8 months ago in August, 2019.
Graeson’s Story
Graeson was born happy and healthy in 2010. He always had perfect yearly check-ups and was hardly ever sick…
Daphne’s Story
Daphne was born with HLHS in San Francisco. She was doing great for about a year post-Glenn surgery when she mysteriously went into heart failure…
Ellen’s Story
She fell into severe heart failure, was diagnosed with severe dilated cardiomyopathy, and received her new heart at just 9 years old.
Tripp’s Story
Tripp was diagnosed with Double outlet right ventricle, pulmonary stenosis and VSD at his anatomy scan at 20 weeks in utero…
Becca’s Story
Becca was diagnosed with a rare CHD, ALCAPA Syndrome before doctors realized she needed a Berlin Heart…
Townes’ Story
Townes was born with HLHS and received his new heart before he was two months old…
Leo’s Story
Leo was diagnosed with severe mitral valve stenosis and Aortic Arch Hypoplasia after his 20-week ultrasound detected an abnormality…
Quinn’s Story
Quinn was flown to UPMC Children’s Hospital at only one week old after going into cardiac arrest at a hospital close to home. Soon after arrival, she went through a procedure to place a central line. Quinn’s heart was so weak that the heart team wasn’t sure if she would endure the procedure. Quinn’s heart made it, but she was put on ECMO later that night.…
A MESSAGE FROM OUR FOUNDERS, PATRICK AND MADELYN GAHAN

When most people hear your child needs a heart transplant, they say something like, “Are you OK? I can’t even imagine what you’re going through.” And they’re right. They can’t. We don’t have to imagine. We created Enduring Hearts in 2013 after our 3-year-old daughter Mya received her life-saving heart transplant. We remember the days spent waiting for a donor heart, the bittersweet joy of finding a match, the whirlwind of surgery, and the uncertain recovery. They were the most challenging moments of our lives, but we made it through. We’re on the other side, and Mya is thriving. Of course, there are still challenges. But we believe you can overcome those same challenges – and that you and your child can make it through, too. We know every fiber of your body hurts, and we can’t take that away. But we can be here to listen, to lean on and to do what your well-meaning friends and family members can’t do, because they haven’t been in your shoes. Let us shoulder some of your pain by going on this journey with you. We’re in this together.

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Enduring Hearts Inc.
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Charity EIN 46-2665745

info@enduringhearts.org
(240) EHEART-1
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Marietta, GA 30064

Meet Mya


Mya was 15 months old, and on a family vacation to Disney World, when she went into heart failure. Up until then, she had been considered a ‘healthy’ child. Mya was admitted to a hospital in Orlando, Florida, where she was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy. After a couple of weeks away from family, friends and her sister, Anya, Mya and her parents returned home to Marietta, Georgia, where she received follow-up care at Sibley Heart Center.

Mya did well on medication for almost two years, until the morning of her third birthday, when she began to exhibit signs of heart failure again. Her parents took her to the hospital, and later that day, on March 2, 2012, Mya was placed on the transplant list as status 1A (most urgent). Mya waited in the hospital for her new heart for six months! Her hospital room became her home, decorated by all of her artwork, and the artwork of her friends and cousins.

Mya’s Mommy, Daddy, Grammy, Mom Mom, Grandpap, Pop Pop, aunts, and uncles took turns staying with her, so she was never alone, and the nurses became part of her family, too. Thanks to all of this support, as well as her incredible strength and confident personality, Mya was the strongest, most adapted child. She thrived, and actually enjoyed her stay in the hospital! The only time Mya ever showed any signs of being ready to leave is when she said to her Mommy, “The mailman is taking a long time to bring my heart!” That’s how she understood the situation; her old heart was broken, and a new one was coming in the mail.

Finally, on September 2, 2012, Mya’s family got the call from the hospital about her new heart! Only five days after her transplant, Mya went home to be with her family again. Now, Mya is doing great and enjoys all the things that four-year-olds love, including swimming, gymnastics, her dogs and her family.

Meet Riley


Riley was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy days after being born. She was immediately placed on the transplant list. After nine weeks of being hospitalized, Riley received the perfect heart for her. She is now 12 years old and doing wonderfully!!

Meet Grace


Grace was born on Easter Sunday in 2003 and was diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart, as an infant. She compensated well despite her very weak heart for the first several years of her life. In January of 2010, her symptoms worsened and she was no longer able to function with her weak heart. She was admitted into the hospital, was listed for a transplant 3 days later and within a week’s time was too sick to be able to eat on her own. She was fed intravenously and was on IV medications during her three month wait for a heart in the hospital. Thankfully she received her heart on Easter Sunday in 2010, ate the next day, walked two days later and came home only 6 days post transplant.

Grace is now in high school, is on the high school swim team and is in her church’s youth group. She plans to be a pediatric nurse and would like to work at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston which has become our home away from home at times. She is taking classes as part of the healthcare pathway in her high school to start her career preparation. We are hopeful for her future ahead and appreciate all of the work Enduring Hearts is doing to help her have a bright future ahead.

Meet Emery

Emery_Head_300x300

Emery was born July 30, 2008, with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). Her parents received the diagnosis about 23 weeks into their pregnancy. The couple knew Emery would be facing multiple open-heart surgeries, and possibly a heart transplant. Emery endured two of three staged open-heart surgeries for HLHS, but her right ventricle was not functioning well, and she was assessed for transplant. At 19 months old, Emery was put on the transplant waiting list.

Her family considered themselves lucky to have her at home, and expected to be waiting for several months for a heart. They were shocked to receive a call the next morning after she was listed, stating three was a heart for Emery. The donor’s organ was not a perfect match, and Emery experienced rejection upon receiving the heart. She was treated in CICU for three weeks, to strip her body of as many antibodies as possible to stop the rejection.

During her three-week battle, Emery was very sick, and the treatment she received was very new. Although she was able to go home after a month, the year following transplant was the hardest—trying to manage her anti-rejection medication, which caused severe side effects and a lot of stress.

Once her anti-rejection meds were tapered back, Emery began to thrive. She had five good years with her heart, surrounded by family and friends. Unfortunately, Emery’s condition deteriorated in the summer of 2015, and Emery passed away on September 4, 2015, while waiting for her second transplant heart. Her family is thankful to the donor family, and for the medical advances employed to give Emery an extension on her life.

Meet Kaleb


Kaleb was born on June 9, 2015 perfectly healthy, we thought. Around 2 months old we started to notice he was grunting and coughing but the pediatrician said it was just a cold. That next weekend he was barely eating, fussy, sweating a lot, wanting to sleep more and still coughing. We took him to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s urgent care just to see what was going on. After several tests, he was life-flighted to Egleston because his EKG was really abnormal. He was then admitted and diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy and left ventricular non compaction. After a couple days of not knowing, he was placed on the list to receive a new heart. On December 3, 2015, we waited 11 weeks and 2 days for that call that there has been a match for Kaleb. He was a couple days away from being 6 months old. 7 days after transplant we went home.

Today he is a thriving 3 year old all because a family made a selfless decision to donate during the hardest days of their lives.

Meet Eliot


Eliot was born a healthy baby. It wasn’t until Eliot was 15 and started having feelings that his heart was racing, that his family was alerted to seek medical care. Eliot’s left side of his heart wasn’t pumping enough blood to his body. To compensate for this, his heart started to beat very fast. His resting heart rate was as high as 120 to 130 beats per minute at times. They eventually ended up at the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). They were in the PICU for six weeks.
Eliot had two major heart surgeries. The first surgery placed a Left Ventricular Assist Device (aka LVAD) to help pump blood through his body. He recovered well from the surgery and was a few days away from going home when we received the good news that Eliot had a donor match for his heart.

The family arrived at the hospital on January 5th. Eliot was immediately put on the transplant list. His priority was 1A. This means if a match comes up for organ donation, he’s in the first tier for a transplant. We found out the night of January 30th that there was a match and he would receive a new heart.

Eliot’s second surgery and his heart birthday are February 1st. The surgery went well and with no complications. Eliot received a new heart from a wonderful family. We don’t know the identity, but we are extremely thankful for their gift of life. For the first 12 weeks, Eliot was on immunosuppressive medicine. His immune system’s function has to be reduced to decrease the chance of rejection of his heart. Eliot will be on some form of immunosuppressive medication for the rest of his life. He will also get periodic biopsies to check rejection levels.

The doctors found a dystrophin myopathy (a mutation) in his genes. This is the first recorded case of its kind. It’s similar to Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, but so far, it’s only affecting his heart.  Please keep him in your prayers!

Meet Everett

22-5-years-old-Everetts-kindergarten-pic-Sept-2017
Everett’s transplant journey started while he was in utero. As first-time parents, Kelley and Jeremy Gray were beyond excited when they learned the news of their pregnancy. However, at the 20-week prenatal anatomy scan, the baby was diagnosed with a severe congenital heart defect (CHD) known as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. This meant Everett would be born with a small, underdeveloped and nonfunctioning left ventricle and would not survive without surgery.

Jeremy and Kelley welcomed Everett to the world a little earlier than they expected when he arrived five weeks premature. He was transferred to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston the night he was born, and his first open heart surgery was performed when he was just two days old. The surgery was successful, but the recovery was long and difficult for the tiny infant. Everett’s second open heart surgery, the Glenn procedure, was performed when he was almost five months old. His cardiologist’s plan was for Everett to have a third open-heart surgery around age 4, and the family hoped for a time of more normalcy with their precious son until then, despite the frequent doctor appointments, daily medications, and developmental therapies that are part of life for a child with a severe CHD.  The family understood that Everett would eventually need a heart transplant, but the hope was that the staged palliative surgeries would buy him more time until then because the need for healthy, matching organ donations outpaces the availability.

Then in the middle of the night on March 31, 2015, when Everett was 3 years old, he woke up struggling to breathe. They rushed to Egleston’s ER and after an emergency cardiac catheterization, learned the devastating news that Everett was, for the second time in his young life, in severe heart failure. It became clear to the doctors that Everett’s heart would not recover and his condition would continue to decline. On April 3rd, he was listed for a heart transplant at the highest priority status while admitted to the cardiac intensive care unit to wait for a matching heart.


Meet Mallory


Mallory 2018

Mallory was born on April 24, 2012, as a healthy baby.  Ten days later she was rushed to the hospital due to trouble breathing.  After hours in the emergency room, Mallory was diagnosed with Myocarditis – an unknown virus was attacking her heart.  At that time, she was placed on ECMO which allowed her body to rest in the hopes that her heart would recover and at the same time she was listed for a heart transplant.  10 days later, she was taken off ECMO and her little body showed signed of slight improvement.  At that time, Mallory was removed from the heart transplant list and spent the next few weeks in the Cardiac ICU at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.  After a total hospital stay of 6 weeks, Mallory was able to return home, but the virus left a lasting impression on her heart.  She was diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy.

With the help of multiple medications, for the next 2 years, Mallory continued to grow and thrive with a severely enlarged heart.  In September of 2014, it became very apparent that Mallory’s heart was never going to recover.  In fact, it was getting worse and at that time was the size of an average adult’s heart.  Mallory was in severe heart failure – failing to thrive, she could no longer climb the stairs and needed the help of a feeding tube for nutrition.  It was at this time that her doctors and parents knew that the best hope at a chance of life would be a heart transplant.  On September 5, 2014, Mallory was listed as a status 1B for a heart transplant with the hope that she would remain at home until a donor’s heart was available.

Her health continued to worsen and on October 6, 2014, Mallory was admitted to the cardiac unit at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta – Egleston to await her lifesaving gift.  At that time, her status on the transplant list was increased to a 1A – most urgent.  Mallory’s mom, dad, and grandparents took turns staying with her in the hospital while ensuring that her sister – Madison (5 years old at the time) – was also taken care of at home.  Their community, family, and friends rallied around the Halls with support and prayer, but hospital life was hard.  They did what they could to make her hospital room her home –

Meet John

John April 2018

John received his heart transplant in April 2018. He had endured 4 open heart surgeries up to that point. His transplant was complicated by PTLD (a form of lymphoma). He had 6 months of chemo. He has enjoyed a great summer doing things with his brother he had never got to do before.

Meet Miguel

Miguel August 2019

Miguel was born with only half of his heart functioning His mother was terrified of losing him, but never lost hope that he would make it to this day! Miguel was born on May 30th, 2019. Miguelito has since had 3 open-heart surgeries, his first was to temporarily fix a damaged valve from a procedure that didn’t go well. It would only last a few months. So after that, he got listed as status 1A on the transplant waiting list. He also lost half his vision due to an occipital stroke. By August 6th, he was breathing fast and they had to go in to place in a VAD. He recovered very well from the surgery. Weeks pass and we finally received the call! August 21st they did his heart transplant! I am so happy he got his new heart and till now he is still in the ICU due to that he can’t breathe on his own but we are slowly starting to wean off his vent machine and hopefully come home soon with his family!

Meet Adrian

Adrian was diagnosed with 3 heart defects at his 20-week anatomy scan. Adrian was born May 14th, 2019 and was then diagnosed with over 12 heart defects, including an anatomy defect and a rare gene that has been only seen in 6 people worldwide. He was listed on July 3rd and received his heart on August 31st! He is currently recovering and doing great!

Meet Breyleigh

Meet Breyleigh

Breyleigh Elise Bannister was born on December 13, 2015. We knew in utero that Breyleigh had severe heart defects but we just did not know just how severe until birth. Breyleigh was born with four major heart defects: HLHS with a morphological right ventricle, LTGA, Ebstein’s Anomaly, and aortic stenosis. Breyleigh underwent three open-heart surgeries and though they bought her some time, they were simply not enough for her heart. Breyleigh was listed for a transplant in August 2016 but was soon taken off because she was ultimately too sick. During the month of August, Breyleigh had a trach placed to help her breathe, this ultimately made her “too well” once she recovered. November 2016 Breyleigh was relisted and six months later on May 10th, 2017 she received the gift of life. One month later, we got to go home after a 14-month hospital stay. Breyleigh is now a big sister and gets to live her best life at home. Our donor is our saving grace and we will forever be grateful for them.

Meet Olivia

Meet Olivia

Olivia is a typical 13-year-old girl. At first glance, you would think she probably has a “normal,” happy life. As her mother, I can confirm that she has an abundance of Joy but “normal” couldn’t be farther from the truth. What is normal anyway? For Olivia, a lifetime filled with doctor visits, hospital stays, surgeries, treatments, pokes and pain are normal. It’s her normal.

Despite it all, there’s a deep appreciation for life and a grand attitude for gratitude. We are thankful for what Olivia has been given. It’s taken a lot of time, trauma, and surrender to finally be able to see the gift of her suffering. We used to say things like, “I wish,” or “if only.” But now we just surrender her along with her circumstances and embrace the blessing that always awaits.

Olivia was born with a very complicated congenital heart defect called Hypo-plastic left heart syndrome. She had 5 open-heart surgeries to reroute and restore heart function. But inevitably her last surgery was a heart transplant. Olivia received that gift in March 2009 at two and a half years old.

In January 2016, Olivia was diagnosed with PTLD, a form of cancer affecting the lymphatic system due to her anti-rejection medication. This medicine is necessary to keep her heart grafted but comes with a lot of risks and side effects. Her battle continues. She has relapsed and has gone into rejection since her original diagnosis.

Strength is provided, gratitude remains, and hope prevails. It’s a beautiful life.

Meet Harry

Meet Harry

Harrison (Harry Potter) is a 16-month-old, born with HRHS (PAIVS). Just 3 days after he was born his cardiologists discovered that he was completely missing his right coronary artery and was at high risk for SIDS. He was listed for transplant at 18 days old and we waited as an inpatient. When he was 7 weeks old he underwent life-saving heart transplant surgery. He went home for the first time at 2 months old, and has been a strong fighter through it all. None of the processes have phased him. He has hit all of his major milestones from crawling to walking to climbing, he loves to play patty-cakes and hear me sing him songs. He likes to help give himself medications and loves to visit his doctors.

Meet Rexford

Meet Rexford

Rexford received a heart transplant at Motts on Nov. 24, 2018. Before his transplant, he was diagnosed with restrictive cardiomyopathy on March 21, 2018, after suffering a cardiac arrest at school. Rexford was a healthy 8-year-old boy who played sports and lived a very normal life until that day. We were told the only treatment was a transplant so we decided to move quickly. It has been a terrifying year from our “normal” life to the hopes that he would even survive his 9th birthday.
Rexford is since 4 months post-transplant and is doing well. Since he had no previous surgeries (other than an icd implant), he recovered well and is back at school.
Before transplant, My husband and I met with the director of Motts (John Charpie, which happened to be a family friend) to discuss how we can help to raise funds for post-transplant research (since we knew that’s where Rexford would be in the near future). his recommendation was post-transplant research. Since then, we have established a fund through Motts (the Rexford Wickman fund). We have started raising funds but have not specifically used it for research (as we are still also building it). Also, we want to put it to research that is most promising to help transplanted hearts last longer or for research that can help detect TCAD sooner or prevent it from happening. We are new in this heart world but have hopes that Rexford will live a long and fulfilling life with his new heart.

Meet Micah

Micah was 15 years old when he came down with a cold in December 2017. On January 12 he woke up in the middle of the night & said he was having trouble breathing. After seeing his pediatrician in the morning, because of a lingering cough, the Doctor wanted him to have a chest x-ray as a precautionary measure. We were all shocked when the radiologist called & said Micah’s heart was very enlarged & we need to take him to John’s Hopkins Hospital immediately. Micah was in heart failure. Because his heart didn’t respond to the medications we were told he needed a heart transplant. He needed to have a ventricular device placed in his heart to pump the blood to keep him alive until a donor heart was available. On April 12. 2018,  three months after being admitted to JHH Micah received his donor heart. 14 days after surgery we were discharged. It hasn’t been smooth sailing because Micah has been in rejection two times, once in June 2018, & again in December into January 2019. His Doctors, Nurses, Physical Therapist & everyone involved with his care have been amazing. It’s been 1 one year since his last hospitalization and he is doing wonderful. He’s now a normal 17yr old enjoying life. We are Blessed & so Grateful to the family who gave Micah this gift.

Meet Austin


Austin was born healthy but when he was 8 he developed persistent flu-like symptoms that prompted a visit to our community hospital. We were devastated to learn that he was actually in severe congestive heart failure. Within days he was implanted with a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) as a bridge to a heart transplant as his heart was too weak to continue beating on its own. His course was further complicated when he had a stroke as a result of a clot that had developed in the LVAD. Fortunately, Austin was able to be stabilized and weeks later, received his precious gift!

Austin is now  7 years post-transplant and we are so grateful for each and every day. He loves life and is known for his phrase “this was the BEST day EVER!” Pediatric heart transplant research is a passion for our family because we want many more “best day evers” for Austin and his transplant friends.

Meet Mason

Mason was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome when his mom was 5 months pregnant. His first surgery was at 3 days old. He did ok until he had an infection that ate through his sternum. He had a brief cardiac arrest during this recovery. We eventually went home on an NG tube. At 6 months old, he had his second surgery. He had a bumpy recovery that was complicated by pulmonary hypertension, narcotic withdrawals, more clots, and hemiparesis of his diaphragm. After this, he came home with the feeding tube and home oxygen. They didn’t think that he would survive the next surgery, but they were also not sure if his lung pressures allowed a heart transplant. We finally found out that he qualified for a heart. We were so relieved! We ended up waiting for 3 1/2 years though, as we had two calls that didn’t work out. The doctors started talking about trying a risky surgery for him, as we were starting to run out of time. I didn’t feel good about it but didn’t know what else to do. Mason was also starting to get impatient waiting for his special phone call. He was scared he was going to die. When we got it, Mason threw his oxygen to the ground and wanted to leave as soon as he could. It was a rough recovery, needing CPR again. But soon he stabilized and was doing great! His big goal was to finally be able to run. He had been hooked up to oxygen and a feeding tube for 6 years and now he finally had freedom! He loves playing video games and Lego. He is so curious and tries to figure out how mechanical things work. He enjoys gymnastics, floor hockey and swimming. He loves daddy wrestles and mommy cuddles. His sister is his best friend (she earned his first smile after he woke up from transplant). We are so grateful for everyone who fought for him. His surgeon told us that he wouldn’t have survived the risky surgery – so that family signed those papers just in time. They saved our little boy. I am excited for the future of research that will help us look after this precious gift.

Meet George

George is 3.5 years old and just recently received his second heart transplant.

He received his first heart at 9 months of age, and unfortunately, a year and a half later he developed Antibody-Mediated Rejection and developed CAV (cardiac allograft vasculopathy).

CAV is one of the leading causes of failure in heart transplants and is not fully understood why it occurs.

This is why funding research to understand how to prevent CAV and make these organs last longer is imperative.

Meet Brody

Brody was born healthy. At seven weeks old, he went into cardiac arrest. We found out he was in heart failure. Oral medication didn’t work. Iv medicine and ECMO was the only thing keeping him alive. He received his gift of life at four months old.

Meet Graeson

Graeson was born happy and healthy in 2010.  He always had perfect yearly check-ups and was hardly ever sick.  In October 2016, he came down with what the doctors continually told him was the stomach bug.  For over a month, and four doctor facilities later, he was finally correctly diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy.  Needless to say, this came as a complete shock to his family as he up until that moment had been perfectly healthy.  On January 5th, 2017, he was blessed with the gift of a new heart and is once again a happy, healthy, and thriving almost 10-year-old boy who has his whole life ahead of him.

Thank you Enduring Hearts for your continued efforts in the advancement of early rejection detection!

Meet Daphne

Daphne was born with HLHS in San Francisco. She was doing great for about a year post-Glenn surgery, when she mysteriously went into heart failure. After several weeks of recovery from cardiac arrest during a cath, she is now listed for a heart transplant. She has been waiting while inpatient for 3 months and counting. Because of COVID-19, the hospital has a 1 parent at bedside policy, so her parents have been commuting 1.5 hours every few days to trade-off being with her. These gas cards will definitely help. Thank you!

Meet Ellen

When Ellen was 9 she was living her best summer! Irish dancing, paddling in the bay, her first overnight away camp with the Girl Scouts, and then suddenly she was sick. We thought she had a stomach bug and were shocked to learn she was in Severe Heart Failure with Severe Dilated Cardiomyopathy.  We learned soon after admission that it was genetic. It was amazing her heart lasted as long as it did. Ellen was listed for a heart transplant and received the gift of life 20 days later. Ellen wouldn’t be with us without her donor and the dedicated cardiac and transplant team at A.I. DuPont Nemours Children’s Hospital. She kept up academically with her 4th-grade class virtually and participated in tons of activities that would support her mental and physical health. She participated in fundraising opportunities with her family to benefit other kids so that every kid can have a healthy heart! Ellen enjoys riding her bike, laughing with friends, singing, dancing, drawing, basketball, and camping with her family.

Ellen is the strongest 10-year old that her mom knows and can’t wait to get back to school and be with friends.  Ellen celebrates her 1st anniversary this August 20, 2020! Enduring Hearts and the other heart warriors inspire us to be our best.

Meet Tripp

Tripp was diagnosed with Double Outlet Right Ventricle (DORV), pulmonary stenosis, and VSD at his anatomy scan at 20 weeks in utero. Later into the pregnancy, he went into heart failure and his family was told he would need a heart transplant at birth. One month after birth, Tripp had a ventricular assist device (VAD) placed, and his family could tell he wasn’t going to make it if we didn’t get a heart soon! Tripp only had his VAD 36 hours and they received THE call! It was a miracle! After the transplant, he had a hard road to recovery, four months of one step forward ten steps back. This fighter finally turned a corner and decided he was ready to come home. He is now a happy thriving seven-month-old. We thank God for our donor family every day!

Meet Becca

When our daughter was born in August of 2018, we had no idea she had a CHD.  It wasn’t until she was referred to a GI specialist for poor weight gain when we discovered how sick our daughter really was.  The GI doctor immediately referred us to a cardiologist, who then referred us to Egleston.  There it was confirmed, our daughter had ALCAPA syndrome, a rare congenital heart defect.  The left side of her heart was very enlarged, she had an enlarged liver, and most of her lab values were terrible.  She had open-heart surgery a week later to try to correct the defect, but the damage was already done.  We were told it was as if “a seven-month-old had a massive heart attack.”  We only waited a few weeks before it was decided she would need additional support, and in April, she had another surgery to install a Berlin heart, to bridge her until she could get a new heart.  We waited for a few months and finally got the call on July 27, 2019.  We just celebrated her first heart anniversary and her 2nd birthday!!

Enduring hearts has helped us with the Road to Recovery Gas Card Program.  For the first year, there were a LOT of trips to and from Atlanta for labs, follow up appointments, and other appointments.  Living almost two hours away, one way, puts a lot of strain on finances.  The Road to Recovery program helped us get to appointments!

One thing I would like to pass on to heart warrior parents is always have hope.  During one of the darkest moments of my daughter’s in-patient stay, I had a doctor tell me, “it’s my job to prepare, it’s your job to HOPE.”  From the moment we arrived, we tried to be hopeful every day we were there.  There were days that it was hard to find, but even if it was in a single smile we got from our daughter, there was always something there we could use to build hope.  Just because there’s a bleak beginning, doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautiful ending!

Meet Townes

Our son was born on 02/06/20 with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. He received his first
catheterization procedure immediately following his birth and we learned on February 7th , his
best chance at living would be to be placed on the pediatric heart transplant list to receive a
donor heart. Whew.
Years ago, my husband and I learned that the word Hope when translated in Greek means
in anticipation or in expectation of good. With this in mind, early during our stay, we decided to
circle a day on our calendar to await in anticipation to take our son home (Easter – 04/12/20).
Hope became our catalyst, our foundation, for the months that followed the birth of our son.
We experienced scary days, hard days, and days filled with uncertainty but we also experienced
joy in these days from the love and care we received.
Our countdown was dwindling down with only 12 days remaining and it seemed impossible, but
then our son received the greatest and most priceless gift on March 28 th. What seemed
impossible become possible!
And with our continued expectation of good, as a family of 3 with our two puppies waiting at
home, we took our son home before Easter (with 3 days to spare)! Townes also became the
first pediatric heart transplant patient to go home during the global pandemic from Monroe
Carrell Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. We learned that Hope can be found even in the direst of
circumstances.

Meet Leo


Leo was diagnosed with severe mitral valve stenosis and Aortic Arch Hypoplasia after his 20-week ultrasound detected an abnormality. After two heart surgeries, before he was 6 weeks old, Leo’s mitral valve stenosis continued to worsen and a heart transplant was his only option. After suffering a cardiac arrest requiring ECMO, Leo was transferred to a VAD. He was only the second baby of his size to be placed on a VAD at Children’s Hospital Colorado. After battling numerous complications, Leo was able to be listed for a heart 6 weeks later. Leo received the gift of life at 4.5 months old.

Leo is now a thriving toddler who is learning to walk and keeping up with his twin brother Derek.

Leo and his family are so grateful for the critical research funded by Enduring Hearts to help his heart transplant last a lifetime!