7-Month-Old Infant Gets Heart Transplant After Going Into Cardiac Arrest
Just hours before receiving a miraculous, life-saving transplant, a 7-month-old baby boy in Seattle was "staring death right in the face."
Baby Lincoln Seay was born on July 14 last year with a rare, congenital defect where his heart was pointed on the wrong side of his body. The condition is called dextrocardia.
"They had even said he might not survive birth," said Mindy Seay, Lincoln's mother. She said they did not know what to look forward to, so when her son came out and started to cry, they were all elated.
As a result of his condition, Lincoln needed multiple surgeries to keep his heart pumping and his blood flowing.
After countless surgeries, however, the baby's heart was still not working properly. His doctors told his parents that the baby needed a transplant.
Mindy and her husband Rob relocated the family from Anchorage, Alaska to Seattle to give their child the best shot at survival.
But at Lincoln's current age, his heart had begun to give out. Rob said the boy had started to decline.
"He had a cardiac arrest and they were able to revive him," he told ABC News, noting that his son's color turned to purple. Since then, little Lincoln had been waiting for five months for a transplant.
Dr. Michael McMullen, Lincoln's transplant surgeon at Seattle Children's Hospital, said he thought the baby boy did not have much time left as he had been getting much sicker. But in a strange twist of fate, a donor appeared.
"I think he was about to die on us, [but] right before he fell off the edge, a heart became available," the surgeon said.
Mindy said it was a "roller-coaster thing" when they found out that there was an organ available for transplant.
"I was shocked. I was elated. I was sad for the other family," she said. "I had every emotion you could think of."
Still, baby Lincoln was not out of the woods yet.
When he was being prepped for his surgery at the operating room, the boy went into a cardiac arrest again.
Fortunately, McMullen and his team were able to put Lincoln on the heart bypass machine that was prepared for the transplant.
McMullen said the remarkable thing was that they were able to get Lincoln on the machine as fast as possible.
"It can take two hours and we did it in 12 minutes and doing CPR," he said.
The transplant took place for hours, but after the surgery, the boy's doctors and parents immediately noticed a change.
"His color is incredibly different, it's pink and vibrant and he woke up with so much energy," said Mindy. "We joked, 'He woke up thinking he was the Hulk.'"
Rob said that with his son's new heart, Lincoln could stay up for hours and no longer gets so fatigued.
Lincoln is still staying in the hospital for recovery, but McMullen is optimistic that the little boy will be home in a few months.
Rob and Mindy are eager to take their son home for good, and they want to share their story to help other families in a similar position.
"We hope his story gives other families hope and raises awareness about organ donation. We're hoping Lincoln's story gets people talking about it," added Mindy.