When most people hear your child needs a heart transplant, they say something like, “Are you OK? I can’t even imagine what you’re going through.”
And they’re right. They can’t.
We don’t have to imagine. We created Enduring Hearts in 2013 after our 3-year-old daughter Mya received her life-saving heart transplant. We remember the days spent waiting for a donor heart, the bittersweet joy of finding a match, the whirlwind of surgery, and the uncertain recovery. They were the most challenging moments of our lives, but we made it through.
We’re on the other side, and Mya is thriving. Of course, there are still challenges. But we believe you can overcome those same challenges – and that you and your child can make it through, too. We know every fiber of your body hurts, and we can’t take that away. But we can be here to listen, to lean on and to do what your well-meaning friends and family members can’t do, because they haven’t been in your shoes. Let us shoulder some of your pain by going on this journey with you. We’re in this together.
That is why we research.
At Enduring Hearts, we believe successful heart transplant should be the end of the journey, but for a child living with a new heart, it is just the beginning. After all, heart transplants don’t last forever, the average only lasts 17 years. While scientific advances have been made to improve graft survival rates during the first year, the long-term survival rate for heart transplantation has only marginally improved.
Most people believe that a transplanted heart is a cure for children born with congenital heart defects, in reality, it is often just a temporary treatment. That is why we fund the often overlooked research needed to help eliminate rejection, prevent life-threatening complications, and reduce the risk that a child will need a second transplant.