Trusten’s New Heart
Recently ABC Financial was able to take part in a program to assist patients in need at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. See how we were able to help make a difference in one child’s life.
Original article by Arkansas Children’s Hospital:
“His heart is failing.”
These four scary words changed Holly and Jon Hamilton’s lives forever. Their baby son Trusten, who’d just celebrated his first birthday a few weeks before Christmas, was in serious trouble.
Turning one was a huge milestone for little Trusten. He was born December 14, 2012, with a condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome, or in simpler terms, half a heart. The following October, when Trusten was about 10 months old, he had two surgeries to repair the damaged organ. By November, he was home, recovering well. Holly and Jon were gearing up to celebrate Trusten’s first-ever holiday season at home with their other three children. They had a lot to be thankful for.
Then, a few days before Christmas, Trusten started to cough.
Trusten’s parents contacted his cardiologist at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, who said, “Bring him in immediately.” His doctor ran some tests, but Holly and Jon weren’t overly concerned. They thought since he was growing so much, maybe he just needed his medication increased.
They were completely unprepared for those four life-changing words.
Trusten was immediately admitted to ACH, but according to Holly, he didn’t seem sick.
Other than the cough, he was acting like a healthy 1 year old. But then, suddenly, Trusten took a turn for the worse. Holly reflects on those days: “It was horrible. One minute Trusten was eating breakfast. The next, he was completely unresponsive. We didn’t know if he’d ever wake up again.”
Holly and Jon had known their son would probably need a heart transplant someday, but they were shocked to learn he wouldn’t go home this time without a new heart. “It’s such a difficult thing. We were waiting for someone else to lose a child so ours could be saved,” says Holly. “How do you hope for something like that?”
Holly says she and Jon relied on their faith and “the good people at ACH” to get them through these dark days. One of the worst days was when their insurance company indicated they wouldn’t cover the heart transplant. Holly and Jon were at a loss. Where would they go? What would they do? Their son would die without his new heart.
This is where you come in.
Their ACH financial advisor assured them they didn’t have to worry about it. Holly says, “Like an angel, our advisor said, ‘Don’t fret about this. So many people give money to pay for treatment for children whose families can’t afford it. Trusten won’t be turned down for his new heart.’”
Your support gave Holly and Jon peace of mind so they could focus on what was most
important – their son.
Holly vividly remembers February 1st, 2013…the day the news came. Trusten’s grandma was keeping him company at ACH while Holly and Jon got ready for their first “date night” together in months. Holly says, “I was in the shower, getting ready to go out. And we got the call.”
Trusten’s heart was ready.
Holly and Jon agonized throughout the 10-hour surgery, but they said the ACH staff was wonderful. “They explained everything and kept us informed through the whole thing,” says Holly. “It was bittersweet,” she remembers. “Another family had to lose a child so my baby could live. But Trusten got his heart.”
Trusten’s surgery went without a hitch. His doctors told Holly and Jon their son’s new heart fit perfectly and was one of the best matches they’d ever seen. And less than 10 days after his surgery, this amazing kid was released to go home!
Trusten’s recovery has gone as well as his parents could have hoped. He hasn’t had any setbacks and his body continues to accept the heart without any complications. Holly and Jon are so very grateful to Arkansas Children’s Hospital – and to you.
“We are taking every moment, day by day,” says Holly. “Enjoying every minute with our son. Before his new heart, he couldn’t play without turning blue from lack of oxygen. Now he has no limits! It makes me so happy to see him like this…so happy.”
Holly wanted to share these thoughts with those of you who support Arkansas Children’s Hospital: “There are no words to express the gratitude in my heart. I wish I could thank each and every one of you in person. ACH is such an awesome resource. It’s a blessing we all share.”
“The money you give saved my son,” she says.