Outlive Yourself : Stories & Updates

Baby Oliver May be the Youngest Heart Recipient in History

Posted by Taylor's Gift Team

05

Mar

2015

OliversJourney-114638-editedIt’s an incredible story that baby Oliver, now two months old, has to share with the world. Born seven weeks premature, and receiving a heart transplant at just six days old, baby Oliver may be the youngest heart recipient in history! In a recent interview that CBS News had with baby Oliver’s mom, she said, “he’s just surpassed everyone’s expectations, he’s done phenomenal,” but things didn’t always look so great.

Photo: Baby Oliver (Facebook - Oliver's Journey)

BabyOliverandMomBefore he was born, baby Oliver was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy - a condition that made his heart enlarged and weak, giving his parents little hope for his future. His parents, Caylyn Otto and Chris Crawford, were told to prepare for the worst - the chances of him being stillborn were extremely high. Hoping that he would make it, but not knowing for sure what would happen, they cleared out the room that they had so eagerly prepared for his arrival. Crushed and scared of what would happen to her son, Caylyn shared, “We had always hoped he would [make it], but standing in a room with things that I didn't know for sure that he would use was heart-breaking."

Photo: Caylyn, Oliver's mom, kisses her healthy baby (Facebook - Oliver's Journey)

Oliver’s parents were told that the best chance for his survival was a full term pregnancy. So when Caylyn’s water broke at 33 weeks, she was terrified. "I thought that was it. I woke up screaming, screaming," Otto said. "I just kept saying, 'This is it. I just lost him.'"

OliversJourney2-573243-editedUpon delivery, baby Oliver was blue. Both parents were able to spend a few seconds with him, and Caylyn was even able to give him a kiss before doctors took him away. His odds of any survival without a heart transplant were zero according to Dr. Daniel Velez, the surgeon who retrieved Oliver's donor heart. He said a situation like Oliver’s - almost immediately finding a donor heart that was a perfect match - practically never happens.

Photo: Smiling and happy! (Facebook - Oliver's Journey)

Dr. Sharad Menon of Phoenix Children's Hospital, who credits his team for baby Oliver’s survival said, "It's not that often you come across a premature baby that we do a heart transplant. So his name is etched in my memory for life."

A recent update from Oliver's Journey on Facebook shared good news that Oliver is doing "so well" following their first follow up visit at Phoenix Children's Hospital.

You can see more pictures and follow all baby Oliver's updates on the Facebook page, Oliver’s Journey.

For more on the story, watch the CBS News Video and read the story at azcentral.com.

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Photo: Baby Oliver after receiving his heart transplant (Facebook - Oliver's Journey)

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