People diagnosed with congenital heart disease often battle the condition until they need a heart transplant to give them a new lease on life. This is the same case with 13-year old Peyton West who has had three open heart surgeries before he even reached the age of five.
Peyton finally received a heart transplant in March 2017 after doctors confirmed that his own heart is already failing. All seemed well after the successful surgery and Peyton was already excited for the upcoming school year; however, he suddenly collapsed on his way to Goshen Middle School and passed away after being rushed to the hospital.
A Sudden Loss
Peyton's parent said that the teenager was his usual energetic self that morning and he even posed for the ritual "First Day of School" photo, but he suddenly started feeling that something was off during the car ride, 15 minutes later.
"I don't feel right. Something's wrong," Peyton told his father, Corey West.
They immediately changed their course and made their way to the children's hospital where Peyton passed away at 10:45 am.
Peyton's family was completely shocked by his sudden passing.
"He was perfect last night, perfect this morning. And then...it's just precious. Life is precious," Corey said.
A Mysterious Passing
According to Peyton's parents, they are still not sure what happened to their son because he seemed to be doing well with the new heart, even if they had to visit the hospital a few times since the transplant, when they thought his body was rejecting it.
The Facebook page "Pray for Peyton: Living with HLHS/Heart Transplant," managed by the West family documented Peyton's battle with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, as well as his activities and progress after the surgery. They noted some symptoms the teen exhibited after the surgery but doctors confirmed that Peyton's body did not reject the heart after careful testing.
"We have spent the last week getting tests and lab work done to try and figure out why he has had a cough for three weeks and why he is so tired all the time," the family revealed on July 30.
Peyton was admitted to the hospital for some tests but results showed that rejection was negative and the cause of the symptoms remained a mystery so his doctors focused on fine tuning his medication and even scheduled him for another biopsy in three months.
"We don't know why. We don't understand it but we know God has a purpose and Peyton touched so many lives in just his short time here ... thank you for praying and for being there for Peyton and our family," Corey expressed.
An autopsy will be performed to determine what caused Peyton's passing and his family hopes the results would be able to help other families.