By Heather Middleton firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, February 7, 2014
McDONOUGH — Little Silas Huffman has been through a lot in the nine months since he came into the world.
Born April 29, Silas was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart becomes weakened and enlarged and cannot pump blood.
As a result of the disease, he needed a heart transplant.
“I took him to the doctors because he was breathing funny and grunting,” said Silas’ mother, Amanda Huffman.
That same day, he was air-lifted to Children’s at Egleston Pediatric Hospital and put on a ventilator.
“We knew within a week he would need a heart transplant,” Amanda said.
Silas received the life-saving operation Dec. 8 and was home 10 days post surgery after having spent four months in the hospital.
“He’s doing great now,” Amanda said. “Just looking at him you would never know he was sick. It’s pretty remarkable.”
Along with the new heart came a mountain of medical bills — about $2 million.
Family friend Linda Williams explained Silas will also spend the rest of his life taking anti-rejection medication.
“You learn a lot when you go through something like this,” Williams said.
For example, the family learned patients cannot be put on the transplant list unless they can prove they have the money to pay for it.
Silas will need another heart transplant when he gets older.
“A pediatric heart will last 15 to 19 years,” Amanda said. “He’s good for now, but you never know when it will happen.”
To help raise money for the surgery and medication, the Huffmans have teamed up with the Children’s Organ Transplant Association.
COTA assists families in raising money for surgeries and medication for a lifetime.
“The organization’s priority is to assure that no child or young adult is denied a transplant or excluded from a transplant waiting list due to lack of fund,” COTA officials said in a press release. “One hundred percent of all funds raised are used for patients’ transplant-related expenses.”
The Huffmans have gathered a team of family and friends to work with COTA for fundraising.
They’re hoping to host a 5K in the spring. They’re also accepting donations online at www.COTAforSilasH.com. Donations can be sent by mail to 2501 West COTA Drive, Bloomington, Ind. 47403. The check memo line should say “In honor of Silas H.”
To date, the family has raised about $24,000. Their goal for now is $50,000.
“The donations have really been a blessing,” Williams said. “They’re just a great family.”
For more information, contact Williams at 678-478-4302 or email her at email@example.com