At just 3 months old, Kyrie was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy — a rare disease that affects just 1 in every 100,000 children in the United States. Kyrie’s left ventricle was pumping faster than his right, causing the left side of his heart to enlarge and threaten his life. After a terrifying hospital stay where Kyrie’s mother, Montanna, had to watch her son go into cardiac arrest — resuscitated only by 10 minutes of CPR — it became clear that a heart transplant was their best option. But in order to undergo this intensive surgery, Kyrie wouldn’t just need an organ donor — he’d also need numerous blood transfusions.
“Blood transfusion is necessary for graft and organ survival,” says Transplant Nurse Coordinator Heidi Flanagan. “It’s critical to have a strong supply of all blood types ready for any surgery — but particularly for transplants. We never know when we’re going to have an organ made available for someone like Kyrie who’s been waiting, and whose life depends on a new heart.”
After Kyrie’s transplant surgery, Montanna was finally able to breathe a sigh of relief. “I watched Kyrie perk all the way up after his transfusions… He was so pale and lethargic and it just all went away.”
Today Kyrie is a thriving toddler, and Montanna is a devoted blood and organ donor. “I would encourage anybody and everybody to give blood. If it wasn’t for organ and blood donations, Kyrie wouldn’t be here. I cherish every moment of his life, and I’m so thankful for the 6 blood donors who got us here today.”