I was friends with a man who received a heart transplant as a baby. He was actually the longest living heart transplant recipient in the history of the United States when he passed away earlier this year. He received his transplant just weeks after being born and lived to see his mid-twenties.
He was a good, honest man and went far too soon. However, we are all so grateful for the precious moments we got with him while he was here.
Today, another family is celebrating the time they had with their son after he received a life saving heart transplant. Sadly, he passed away just months later, on his first day of school.
An hour after posing for his back-to-school photos, 13-year-old Peyton West was rushed to the hospital where he died, just five months after receiving a heart transplant. While his Ohio family is devastated by the loss, they said they are thankful to have the memories they made after his transplant.
West, who was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, had undergone three open-heart surgeries before his fifth birthday, and received the transplant in March. His family created the “Pray for Peyton: Living with HLHS/Heart Transplant” Facebook page to share his progress.
On Aug. 17, an 8:38 a.m. post asked supporters to pray for West. A 12:05 p.m. follow-up post said the teen had died.
“Peyton passed away this morning at 10:45am.” the post read. “We will post more when we know.”
Later that evening, his dad shared West’s back-to-school photo that had been taken that morning.
His father relayed, “He was perfect last night,” Corey West, continued, “Perfect this morning. And then … it’s just precious. Life is precious.”
If there’s one thing I know, it’s that life most certainly is precious.
The grieving father said his son complained in the car on his way to school and said “I don’t feel right. Something’s wrong.”
The cause of his death has not been released yet. however, he frequented the hospital many times in July. During that time, he was tested to see if his body was rejecting the organ and the results came back negative. He was then issued new medication and was to come back in three months.
The family posted his photo from that morning to Facebook with the caption: “Love you buddy. So strong.”