WESTWOOD (CBSLA.com) — An Orange County baby is living a medical miracle after receiving a live-saving heart transplant at just 3 weeks old.
As CBS2’s Kristine Lazar reports, Dravyn Johnson, the heart transplant recipient, was expected to leave Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA Wednesday, just two weeks after the procedure.
“I never bought him clothes. I never got anything. I was just scared,” said Nicole Eggleston, Dravyn’s mother, who’s had to parent him from inside a hospital room since his birth 5 weeks ago.
Eggleston of Huntington Beach was told when she was pregnant with Dravyn, her third child, that he had a severe heart defect.
When Dravyn was just a few days old, he was transferred to the hospital in Westwood.
His doctors had discovered that his condition, pulmonary atresia, was worse than anyone had expected.
“It had such severe disease that we were afraid that the baby could arrest or die at any moment,” Brian Reemtsen, a pediatric heart surgeon, said.
Too sick to have his heart repaired, the decision was made to put Dravyn on the heart transplant list. The wait time, doctors warned, was up to six months.
Miraculously, a heart became available in just two days.
At just 3 weeks old, Dravyn became the youngest heart transplant recipient at UCLA in 25 years. His new heart is the size of a strawberry.
“He looks perfect. If you didn’t know, you wouldn’t know anything was wrong,” Eggleston said.
Dravyn is expected to remain on medication, and will need follow-up appointments. Doctors expect that his new heart should last up to 20 years before he’ll need another transplant.