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Alaska infant comes back to life as heart transplant arrives

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 7/03/2016 ALFRED NG
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A 7-month-old Alaska boy died from heart failure and came back to life as a last-minute transplant arrived right on time.

Baby Lincoln Seay was born on July 14, 2015, with a severe defect that left his heart on the wrong side of his body.

After waiting months for a heart transplant, minutes before it arrived at the Seattle Children’s Hospital, Lincoln died, Mindy Seay, the boy’s mother, said.

“He died. He was out of time,” Mindy said on her YouCaring page. “While they were prepping him for surgery, he coded. His heart stopped. They did CPR and chest compressions without success.”

But the surgeon’s determination saved the infant’s life, after opening the baby’s chest early and compressing the heart with his own hands until the new organ arrived.

Hospital staff acted efficiently, opening the boy’s chest for manual compressions in 12 minutes when the process typically takes more than an hour.

The quick thinking brought Baby Lincoln back to life in time for the successful heart transplant, Mindy said.

“After surgery the days have been a blur. Lincoln has done SO well and his heart is so strong,” his mother wrote on Feb. 24.

The day before the surgery, Lincoln’s body was purple, but returned to normal after the transplant.

“The last two days, you could just tell they were his last days,” Rob Sealy, the boy’s father, told the Seattle Times.

Lincoln Seay © Facebook/Liconln's Heart Journey Lincoln Seay

Even though baby Lincoln had the highest priority status on the waitlist since November, his parents waited a nerve-wracking three months for a potential donor, with several close calls for Lincoln, as the baby was at end stage heart failure.

“He’s been pretty sick and getting sicker,” the transplant surgeon, Dr. Michael McMullen, told ABC News. “I think he was about to die on us, right before he fell off the edge, a heart became available.”

The parents learned they could wait up to 90 days for a donor, but luckily a new heart arrived just in time to save the boy’s life — on Day 89.

“Honestly, I think he talked for 20-30 minutes but I heard absolutely nothing after WE GOT A HEART,” Mindy said, after the doctor broke the news that there was a donor available.

The infant will have to face challenges as he recovers from surgery, but the prognosis is good, McMullan said.

Baby Lincoln had a heart surgery the day after he was born, but then fell back into medical issues in October, his mother said.

The family, which is originally from Alaska, relocated to Seattle where they could receive top medical care for Baby Lincoln.

After spending more than half his life in hospitals, his parents hope Lincoln continues to grow without complications.

“My baby is coming back. He has a long, hard road ahead of him, but his progress is amazing," Mindy said.

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