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Dilated Cardiomyopathy, Transplant

Rece (2-1/2) and big sister Emma

Rece was diagnosed in utero with dilated cardiomyopathy. We were referred to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin since it was the closest. We met the doctors and nurses and two days later, Rece was born (1 month premature). It was our intention to deliver in Milwaukee but it did not work out that way.

Rece was intubated immediately and taken to the Special Care Nursery. After three days, we was transported to CHW and I followed him shortly after.

During the middle of the night, after only 1 week in at Children's, we got a call from our cardiologist. They have a possible donor. The surgeon was flying to check the condition of the heart and if it was compatible.

The goal is to have the heart from the donor to the recipient in under 4 hours. Rece received his in 3 hours and 56 minutes!

We left CHW exactly 1 month after Rece arrived there. Thankfully, we have had no complications. We celebrated his first birthday surrounded by family and friends. He got great news after his first cath/biopsy. No rejection and his arteries looked great. Today we celebrated his heart birthday and mourned for the family who so unselfishly gave Rece another chance at life.

Tony and I lost our first child, a son, Brennan. I know the sadness and emptiness when a child dies, but I also know the happiness and fulfillment from getting a second chance to love again.

? Hillary and Tony, Rece's Parents (Wisconsin)

This article was last updated on February 20, 2002
Photo updated October 30, 2003

  • Born:  February 9, 2001
  • Diagnosis:  Dilated Cardiomyopathy
  • Treatment:  Transplant, February 20, 2001


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Disclaimer: Our members' stories represent their own perception of their experiences, and the medical information contained within has not been reviewed for accuracy prior to publication. Stories are presented for informational purposes only, and should not be substituted for professional advice. Always consult your (child's) physicians with your questions and concerns.
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