Kylee Faith Jones Is Feeling Great!For all the horror stories about pharmaceutical side effects and surgical errors and antibiotic-resistant superbugs, every so often we're reminded that modern medicine does in fact make miracles happen. Five-month-old Kylee Faith Jones is exactly that -- a medical miracle. (Not to mention an absolutely adorable miracle. Look at that smile! Oh god, she's so sweet it's almost unbearable.)
Kylee was born with such an extreme congenital heart defect that she needed to get a pacemaker when she was just 3 days old. Her heart was flipped, meaning it was on the right side of her body instead of the left and was a mirror image. She also had third-degree heart blockage, which caused the top and bottom of her heart to pump at different times.
I guess you could say Kylee's parents, Trace and John, were somewhat prepared for their little girl's condition, as the defect was diagnosed when Trace was 16 weeks pregnant. But personally I don't think any parent could ever be prepared for something like that. Especially when, after a few months, the pacemaker began to fail. Trace's own heart must have been breaking in half.
Kylee spent seven weeks in the pediatric intensive care unit of Joe DiMaggio's Children's Hospital in Hollywood, Florida, waiting for a donor heart. (The images of her tiny little body hooked up to tubes and machines, her eyes still bright and alert, are enough to make you weep.) As you can imagine, donor hearts of any size are hard to come by; over 3,000 patients are currently on the waiting list. Donor hearts for infants are incredibly scarce.
But luck was on Kylee's side! Not only did the baby girl receive a heart, her transplant surgery went off without a hitch. Currently doing better than ever, she's one of the youngest heart transplant success stories on record.
As a mother of two, I can't even begin to wrap my head around what the reality of heart transplant surgery on a 5-month-old baby entails. In fact, when I try to picture it, I break out into a cold sweat. I'm completely in awe of the surgeons who performed this unbelievable feat.
Of course, I'm also incredibly impressed by the parents who allowed this miracle to happen. Not Kylee's parents, but the (anonymous) parents of the organ donor infant, whose tragic death gave Kylee a new life. It's humbling and inspiring to consider their generosity in the moments after losing their own child.
Since the transplant, every member of the Jones family registered to become organ donors, too.
Which part of this story amazes you the most? The successful heart transplant? The generosity of the organ-donating infant's parents?
Image via MSNBC