2-month-old finds donor heart, transplant surgery successful

The Las Vegas-born Amelia Garcia has received her life-saving heart transplant, which her family waited months for.
Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 3:54 PM EDT
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LAS VEGAS (KVVU/Gray News) – Parents Franky and Esmeralda Garcia were stunned Friday when they received a call saying a donor’s heart had been located for their two-month-old daughter, Amelia.

The infant underwent an eight-hour surgery the next day, and now the heart beats strongly in Amelia’s body.

“As a mom, we’ve had some really dark days where we wondered what was going to happen to our baby. Are we going to have our child at Christmas? And you think there’s a mom out there, parents, that in their sorrow said yes, said yes to giving our child life,” Esmeralda Garcia told FOX5.

The couple knew before Amelia was born that she would have to undergo surgery for a heart problem, but were shocked to learn she’d need a new heart.

Amelia made it on the transplant list about four weeks ago and had no idea how long it would take for a donor heart.

The donor is anonymous, and the Garcias said, “thank you,” is a huge understatement for what they did for their baby. They want to raise Amelia the best they can for the donor.

“We’ll probably spend the rest of our lives trying to do good for others because so many people have done good for us. I mean, our daughter got the ultimate gift of life,” Esmeralda Garcia said.

The transplant surgery happened at UCLA in Southern California.

The Garcia family said Amelia will remain in the hospital for at least a few weeks, but they plan to stay for three months to ensure everything goes OK before they return home to Las Vegas.

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