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After heart transplant, Elliot Sazama is planting joy – The Grand Island Independent

Posted: Sunday, February 8, 2015 11:58 pm | Updated: 11:55 pm, Mon Feb 9, 2015.

By Lauren Sedam

Posted on Feb 8, 2015by Lauren Sedam

ST. PAUL — Before his second birthday, Elliot Sazama had two open heart surgeries and a transplant.

After his parents brought him home to St. Paul on Valentine’s Day last year, he was on 15 medications.

Elliot was born with a congenital heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a condition that means the left side of his heart didn’t develop a pumping chamber. But a year after the transplant that saved him, his mom, Rachel, said things are totally different.

Elliot has zero rejection of the new organ so far, and he’s down to just seven medications. He has finished therapy at Children’s Hospital in Omaha and only has to go back for checkups occasionally. His parents no longer have to check his oxygen levels or his blood pressure.

He loves tractors, playing and being outside. “He’s practically running now,” Rachel said.

But things haven’t changed for just Elliot. Their experience has opened the family’s eyes, Rachel said, and they are involved with raising awareness for the condition.

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