Baby's Heart Fails Just Before Transplant, but He Survives
Donor organ came in the nick of time
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2016 11:00 AM CST
Lincoln Seay   (YouCaring)
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(Newser) – Lincoln Seay was born July 14 with his heart on the wrong side of his body and immediately went into surgery. By November, doctors told his parents that Lincoln was suffering from end stage heart failure and would have to wait about 90 days to get the new heart he so desperately needed. On Feb. 18, after 89 days, the Alaska couple learned a new heart was on its way at Seattle Children's Hospital. "I think he was about to die on us, (but) right before he fell off the edge, a heart became available," says surgeon Michael McMullan. The drama wasn't over, though. "While they were prepping him for surgery, he coded," writes mom Mindy Seay on a YouCaring page, per the New York Daily News. "His heart stopped." Doctors were able to quickly connect Lincoln to the heart bypass machine that had been set up for the transplant, however.

The boy who went into cardiac arrest and turned purple before surgery "woke up with so much energy," Mindy tells ABC News. His dad, Rob Seay, adds, "He was grabbing at my face and pulling my beard." McMullan expects Lincoln will be able to go home in a few months. "I hope he plays football or does whatever he wants to do," he tells the Seattle Times. "He's supposed to live." His new golf-ball-sized heart should last about 20 years, he adds. Nothing is known about the child who donated the heart because of privacy restrictions, but "it had to be a young child," McMullan says. "I will treasure that heart more than I’ve ever treasured any gift," Mindy writes in a blog, per the Times. "I will care for that gift to the very best of my ability and will be sure we always give reverence and respect to the child and the family from which it came."