South Carolina 5-year-old receives new heart after months of waiting

Greenville (WHNS) -- Jane Davis looks through pictures taken over the weekend after her adopted daughter's heart transplant surgery - her heart overflowing with joy and relief.


\"It has been the worst I have ever been through,\" said Davis. \"Just knowing that we were going to lose her if we didn't get a heart. \"


Her adopted daughter Natalie, 5, had an enlarged heart. They only found out about it in January when she went into heart failure suddenly. After months of waiting Dr. Andrew Savage at MUSC in Charleston called Jane Davis with great news.


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\"He said 'it's a good heart,'\" she recalled. \"'Get on down here!'\"


So Natalie and her mother drove down to Charleston in the dead of night. Natalie had been asleep for hours, but when she woke up her mother told her the good news.


\"A heart? I want a pink one!,\" Natalie exclaimed excitedly.


\"Driving down to the hospital she said, 'Mama, did God let somebody have an accident so I could get a heart?' I said 'No, Natalie, it don't work that way' ... I said 'God's got a big plan.'\"


Davis said the surgery, which lasted 9 hours, was a success. Davis said when Natalie awoke, she was beaming with gratitude. Davis said she had explained that someone had to die so that she could have a new heart. That truth was humbling for both, she said.


And that pink heart she asked for?


\"One of the nurses had a pink magic marker, and when they came out of surgery she had a big pink heart drawn on her chest with the date on it,\" said Davis.


Natalie has about six weeks of recovery, a very long road ahead.


Recipients of any organ typically do not find out anything about the donor until at least six months after the transplant, giving the family that provided the organ time to grieve for their loved one that they lost.


Mark Johnson with Donate Life said in South Carolina, there are about 20 children on a waiting list for a new heart. 

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