ARCADIA, Fla.- A Southwest Florida family has a new outlook on life this holiday season. Last Christmas, baby Jayson was in the hospital with a failing heart.
Doctors said he needed a rare infant heart transplant to survive. He spent the holidays in Miami, at Jackson Memorial Hospital, awaiting the transplant.
Norma Lugo says doctors told her Jayson’s problems may have stemmed from the flu. At just 3 1/2 months old, Jayson became sick. They traveled from their home to Fort Myers for care and doctors there sent him immediately on a helicopter, bound for Miami.
Lugo says when she found out her son needed a transplant, it was her darkest hour.
The scars from where surgeons put in Jayson’s new heart are visible. A heart from a baby of similar age was donated from a family in North Carolina.
Lugo says she’s grateful for the family’s decision to be organ donors and for the little heart that fills Jayson with life.
In April 2014, Jayson was able to return home. Now, judging by little Jayson’s Santa suit, he’s ready for his first Christmas at home.
A cardiologist tells WINK News infant heart transplants are very rare. Only a handful are performed each year in Florida.