Family celebrates baby's heart transplant - WSMV Channel 4

Family celebrates baby's heart transplant

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A 7-week-old boy with a rare heart condition may now live a long, healthy life. He received a new heart early Friday after a wait the family said seemed like forever.

"Just can't believe that it's real," father Keith Hagewood said.

An ending that seemed unlikely has given Keith and Christy Hagewood another reason to believe in the power of prayer.

Their infant son Andrew has a new heart.

"We're all just very thankful," Christy Hagewood said. "God has given Andrew great strength to get through to this moment."

Channel 4 showed you Andrew Hagewood earlier this month at just three weeks old after he was born with a rare condition. Both of his lower heart chambers were enlarged.

A unique heart-lung bypass machine called The Ecmo, which oxygenated his blood, was the only thing keeping him alive.

And doctors made it clear that he couldn't stay on it for long without complications. He had to have a new heart.

After seven weeks of waiting, he got one overnight, and the Vanderbilt doctors who operated say it went well.

"The breathing tube may come out in a day or so. The ICU may be several days to a week. Very unpredictable at this point," said Dr. David Bichell, with Vanderbilt Children's Hospital.

The Hagewoods credit prayers from all over.

"It was shock, jubilation, and tears," Keith Hagewood said.

But they know while they are celebrating, the donor's family may be grieving.

"Just so they'll know - even though we've be contacted by all these people on Facebook, and they're praying for us, they also should include that family in their prayers," Christy Hagewood said.

The Hagewoods say they can't wait to hold Andrew and see him grow into a healthy boy at home. And one day they hope to meet the family of the donor who gave their son new life.

Doctors say what is most impressive about young Andrew Hagewood is that he was able to sustain life on The Ecmo machine for more than 50 days, which is longer than any child ever has at Vanderbilt.

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