BOSTON (CBS) – Four-year-old Finnley Silva loves toys, candy, and yes, being a little rowdy.
“He’s your typical four-year-old boy. He likes robots and cars and going fast and running and you know, just being rowdy and throwing things as most four-year-olds do at this point,” said Emily Silva, Finnley’s mom.READ MORE: 'It's Our Job': North Attleboro, Foxboro Firefighters Rescue Passenger On Flight To Chicago
But what Finnley has had to endure at such a young age is far from typical. “I was prenatally diagnosed with him having a congenital heart defect. He was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. So basically, for lack of better terms, the left side of his heart never developed,” said Silva.
That’s resulted in many trips to the hospital for Finnley, and in turn his mom, dad Jonathan, and two older sisters.
Finnley has already had three open-heart surgeries, the first at just two days old. For the past five months, he’s been at Boston Children’s Hospital, waiting for a heart transplant.
“The waiting is the hardest because you’re kind of waiting for the unknown. You never really know what the next minute, day, week, month brings,” said Silva.
In order to pass some of that time, Silva shared an address where people could send mail, as her son loves opening letters and gifts. And the mail started pouring in- especially for Finnley’s birthday on January 29.
Silva says she brings him a pile of things to open daily, sharing, “He opens them and goes ‘oh my goodness, look at this this!’ And he gets so excited. And then he wants to know, ‘oh, who is this person?’”READ MORE: Georgetown School Officials Investigating Allegation Of Racial Slurs Following Fight During Football Game
Silva added, “He doesn’t understand that they’re kind of coming from all over the country. We’ve gotten them as far out as Hawaii.”
She said it’s “mind-boggling” to see so many strangers reaching out, wanting to brighten the Taunton boy’s day.
“His face just kind of lights up as he’s looking through things and it makes that little bit of day a little bit easier to get through. But it’s just been amazing and overwhelming, in the best way possible,” said Silva.
Cards can be addressed to:
Boston Children’s Hospital Cardiology Floor 8
300 Longwood Ave., Boston, MA.
The hospital is not accepting any packages.
A link to an Amazon Wish List for Finnley and his family can be found here.MORE NEWS: Will Kids Have The Same COVID Vaccine Side Effects? Dr. Mallika Marshall Answers Your Questions
Silva also shared another way to help out is by donating blood, or becoming an organ donor, to help children like Finnley.