Former Oklahoma offensive lineman Tavaris Jeffries will always remember Saturday.
Not because his alma mater won a double-overtime thriller at Tennessee, though.
Saturday night, Jeffries’ infant daughter received a long-awaited heart transplant. Only a few weeks after Taylor‘s birth in May, doctors determined she had left ventricular non-compaction cardiomyopathy. Essentially, the left side of her heart wasn’t pumping, forcing the right side to make up the difference and causing a cascade of issues.
A heart transplant was the only long-term solution.
Taylor has been at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas for the past three months, waiting on a heart that finally came Saturday night.
“Everything went great,” Jeffries told The Oklahoman via text message from the hospital. “She’s doing great, and recovery is going great.”
Jeffries, who also has a son with wife, Sha’Raye, put his minor-league football career on hold to be with Taylor. He’s been with her every day as doctors did everything possible to keep her heart working until a donor heart could be found.
Jeffries said when doctors removed her heart Saturday, the organ was in terrible shape. The effects of her condition had swollen it to nearly twice the size it should’ve been.
Even though many months of recovery remain for Taylor, Jeffries wanted to focus instead on the miracle he believes has already occurred.
“I want to thank God first for being there with us through this all,” he said. “Also the family who had to make that hard decision (that gave Taylor a new heart). Thanks to them so much.”
SEIBERT SOLID YET AGAIN
True freshman kicker/punter Austin Seibert had another strong game, though his punt average wasn’t quite as high against Tennessee as it was against Akron a week earlier.
Seibert had eight punts for a 43.4 yard average.
“Pretty darn good,” Sooners coach Bob Stoops said. “You guy, first away game. He hung it up high. More than anything, I told him I’d take five less yards from last week if you hung it up higher, just because they have a great returner (Cameron Sutton).
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