Baby girl with rare condition gets heart transplant after 218 days of hospital stay

We are so happy for her!


Little Elodie Carmen Baker, who waited a heart transplant for 218 days, finally received one.

According to her parents, the pregnancy was a normal one and nothing indicated the baby would be born with a severe heart condition. What’s most, doctors didn’t diagnose Elodie with dilated cardiomyopathy until she was seven weeks old and stopped feeding.

“Our pregnancy was normal and we had an uncomplicated delivery and actually went home with Elodie,” the baby girl’s mom, Kate Baker, told Good Morning America.

“So she was with us in Minnesota at home for seven weeks and one night, she wouldn’t feed. I was nursing and she let out this cry and my heart just sank and I said to (my husband) Collin, ‘Something’s wrong. We need to take her in.’”

Once at the hospital, they said nothing was wrong, and just as they were getting ready to send the girl and her parents home, they decided to run some extra tests, including an X-ray.

“Then the X-ray came back. They saw her heart was enlarged and that was on Aug. 21. And we haven’t been home since.”

Elodie’s condition, dilated cardiomyopathy, causes children and adult sufferers to have an enlarged heart chamber, which has the potential to leave the muscle unable to pump the necessary blood through the body, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“In Elodie’s case, the genetic test did not reveal an answer for why she developed this kind of cardiomyopathy and in that situation, it’s called idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, meaning at this point in time, we don’t really know why this happened to her,” Dr. Anna Joong, who has been caring for Elodie for the last few months, told Good Morning America.

Around two months after the diagnosis, Elodie was sent to the Lurie Children’s Hospital in Illinois where she was placed a pediatric ventricular assist device (VAD) through surgery.

“Her heart was so sick, that the IV medicines just weren’t enough and she needed a VAD,” Dr. Joong said.

“We use this device as a way to bridge her to transplant so it’s a way to support her heart, to help get her stronger in the time that she’s waiting for her donor heart.”

Luckily, after that many days spent at the hospital, Elodie received her new heart on March 27. The transplant was a huge success and Elodie is doing great. She still needs a feeding tube, but over time, as she gets even stronger, she is expected to start eating on her own.

“The breathing tube was able to come out within hours of coming out of the operating room. Her new heart works beautifully and is really strong,” Nora Hammond, a nurse practitioner at Lurie’s, explained to Good Morning America.

“She is getting routine immunosuppression medications to prevent rejection. She has already been transferred out of ICU level care and is sitting up. She is one strong kid and we are so grateful to the donor family.”

Congratulations, sweet Elodie. You are such a fighter.