Youngest Person to Receive A Heart Transplant

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In Arizona, Caylyn Otto bought a bracelet for her unborn son, but not for his baptism; instead, the bracelet was for his funeral. She said, “I pictured it being on an urn or being buried with him.”

When Otto was 20-weeks pregnant doctors told her and her partner, Chris Crawford, that their son’s heart was significantly enlarged and to prepare for the worst. He was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, which is a disease of the heart muscle that causes the organ to become weakened and enlarged, making it unable to pump blood properly. It was possible that their baby would be stillborn or if born alive, they would have to consult with hospice caregivers. However, their son, who they named Oliver, was born alive seven weeks early (33-weeks) on January 5th, 2015.

After his birth, doctors decided that Oliver needed a heart transplant immediately. In most cases infants need to reach the gestational age of 36-weeks before undergoing a transplant but Oliver was the exception and was placed on the transplant list. Dr. John Nigro, a pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon, said that his enlarged heart was the size of a five-year-old child and was affecting his lungs and kidneys.

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