Reporting Lauren Leamanczyk
BOSTON (CBS) – Katy Murphy, an energetic five-year-old who spent more than two and a half years on a list for a heart transplant, got the heart she needed this Valentine’s Day.
The little girl announced on YouTube,”I’m getting a heart transplant.”
Katy was born with a heart defect. Because her body was working so hard to pump blood, she wasn’t able to keep on weight and to grow. Without a transplant, her mother didn’t think she would make it another six months.
But after two years and seven months of waiting, she had almost given up hope. “I didn’t think it was going to happen. You get to two years, you don’t think it’s going to happen,” said Aimee Murphy.
But it did happen. Tuesday, the Wakefield family got the phone call they’d been waiting for. Wednesday Katy went into surgery. On Valentine’s Day, the resilient patient opened her eyes.
Aimee says, oddly enough, the family had placed wagers last fall on the day Katy would get her new heart. Katy picked February 14th. “She was like mommy, Valentine’s Day. Hearts,” Aimee laughed.
Dr. Kevin Daly of Children’s Hospital has been working with Katy for years. He says her wait for a transplant was the longest he can remember. So it was even more special that the surgery was successful.
Katy’s prognosis is good. “She should be able to get back to normal kid things. She can go to school, she can play sports and she will grow,” Daly said.
Katy’s father, Mike Murphy says the hardest thing was saying goodbye before they wheeled her into the operating room. But afterward, he and Aimee were stunned by how well she reacted.
“When I saw Katy for the first time she looked so much better than I expected and I’m just relieved and thankful,” Katy said.
The Murphys are looking forward to a more normal life. They are thankful for their doctors and the support of their community.
Most of all, they are thankful for parents they have never met. Parents who lost a child and donated their organs so kids like Katy could live.
“We pray for them. We know they’re in their grief right now, but we are thankful that they made this gift to our child,” Mike said.