A teen living with a heart defect just received a huge Christmas miracle. But Santa wasn’t the one who gave it to him. He just got a heart and kidney transplant that literally saved his life.
Earlier this month, Marquis Davis underwent surgery at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Ohio. The 17-year-old was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), meaning the left side of his heart was underdeveloped and unable to support the circulation needed for the body’s organs.
In a normal heart , the heart’s left side has the job of pumping oxygenated blood into the aorta, the large artery that carries blood to the body. In someone with HLHS, the mitral valve, which separates the two left chambers of the heart, is too small or completely close
If the natural connections between the heart’s left and right sides are allowed to close in the first few days of life in a baby with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, he or she can go into shock and may die. Signs of shock include:
- Cool, clammy skin that may be pale or gray
- A weak and rapid pulse
- Abnormal breathing that may be either slow and shallow or very rapid
- Lackluster eyes that seem to stare
“He’s a fighter,” mom Sherri Withrow of Lexington, Kentucky, told, Good Morning America. “He never shows signs of giving up.”
According to ABCNews.com, Marquis had open heart surgery at 5 days old and his first heart transplant when he was 3.
At 10, Marquis’ health took a turn for the worst. His body began rejecting his heart and one of his kidneys was failing.
In 2018, doctors told Withrow her son would need a transplant for both. The news was frightening to the mother of two.
“I’ve been through it the first time — this time, I was like, ‘Ok, we got this. We are going to be on the list no matter how long it takes,’” Withrow said, adding that Marquis waited for this heart and a new kidney for one year and four months.
On Dec. 2, after 17 hours of surgery, Marquis received two new organs.
“Marquis has been a fighter for quite a long time,” Dr. Clifford Chin, medical director of pediatric heart transplant at Cincinnati Children’s, told GMA. “Not only did he develop disease in his first heart transplant, the effects of the transplant medications over time caused his kidneys to…