PALO ALTO, Calif., Dec. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- After more than two-and-a-half
years, Ronald McDonald House at
Shawn's mother, Trista, summed up the families' elation saying, "The fact that we're taking Shawn and his new heart home is absolutely a miracle after the complications he went through. There were a couple times that we didn't think he'd even leave the intensive care unit, much less hop on a plane. It blows me away that he is actually going home!"
It was April 2006 when Shawn and Trista first moved into the House, with the expectation of staying just a few months. Their hope? A new heart for Shawn, since doctors at the Children's Heart Center at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital had placed the 7-year-old on a heart transplant waiting list.
Shawn's medical odyssey began in 1998, shortly after birth. His parents, George and Trista, thought they might lose him. Born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, his condition went undiagnosed for several days, leaving him too sick to undergo emergency surgery. In the years to follow, Shawn would fight a constant battle against the condition. "The surgeries and treatments were endless," said Trista, "but we never lost hope. And Shawn was always so positive."
Eventually a new heart became Shawn's only option for survival. There are no heart transplant programs in Alaska, so once the family arrived in Palo Alto, Shawn would not be able to return home. He had to stay close to Packard Children's, at the Ronald McDonald House just down the street, to be available at a moment's notice for a donated, matching heart.
It was an extremely emotional separation. Trista and Shawn, along with his
sisters, Amanda and Haley, moved into the House to wait. Shawn's third sister
Samantha and George, who had to continue
|SOURCE Ronald McDonald House at |
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