4-year-old heart transplant patient will steal your heart
By Dean Stephensdstephens@abcnews4.com
BEAUFORT, S.C. (WCIV) -- The American Heart Association Heart Walk in Charleston is very personal for one Lowcountry family. A family we introduced to you earlier this year.
If you didn't' know, you would never know.
She is precious.
"No, Owen. That is enough. Owen, no that's enough water sweetie," said Morgan Porter as she played with her brother outside their Lady Island home.
She is playful, independent and reassuring.
"Can you open the porch? He won't jump on you," said Morgan as her two labs sat anxiously on the family's back porch.
The scar is the only visible sign. Morgan has gone through more in her four short years of life than most will go through in a lifetime.
"It feels like you go into surgery and they take your sick heart out and put your new heart in," Morgan said of her heart transplant surgery.
It was a 12-hour surgery at MUSC's Children Hospital in late January. Morgan received a new heart after spending six and half months on the Berlin Heart. It's a machine that did what her sick heart couldn't do, pump blood through her tiny body.
"It seems like a lifetime ago. People always say 'Cut to six months from now and it will be like a distant memory' It is still fresh, still pretty raw," said Morgan's parents, Robby and Sarah Porter.
They call it the new normal.
"Part of that is the perspective, being grateful for what you currently have and everyday is a gift. Everyday is a gift. It really is," said Sarah.
Morgan is fully aware of her new gift.
"It looks like a shape. It looks like a bundle of grapes," said Morgan describing her new heart.
She is also grateful for the doctors and nurses who kept a close eye on her.
"They were very nice in the hospital and took very good care of me when I was in the hospital," said Morgan.
But now it's time to give back. Officially, Morgan will serve as the Queen of the Heart Walk. Unofficially, she'll be the cupcake fairy.
"I'm going to be the cupcake fairy who brings all the little kids cupcakes before the Heart Walk starts," said Morgan.
"Part of the heart walk is showing there is happiness in all the sadness. With Morgan's story there is something, there's real purpose being a part of a real amazing walk," said the Porters.
A four-year-old wise beyond her years and fully aware of her surroundings.
"I'm so happy to be back at our house, back at our house, that's all I have to say," said Morgan.
Morgan continues to make monthly trips to the Children's Hospital for health checks. She is on a series of medications which is normal for transplant patients. She is in school, takes dance lessons and can best be described as a typical little four-year-old.