North Carolina Couple Receives Call Over Heart Donor For Their Daughter

By Claire Parker, Parent Herald March 17, 04:00 am
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A baby in North Carolina underwent heart surgery shortly after her parents received a call they got a match minutes after they attended a Sunday mass.
(Photo : Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

A North Carolina couple shared their story about their baby girl getting a heart donor just minutes after they left church when their co-church goers offered prayers fort their daughter. The couple regarded it as a "God moment."

The parents, Melanie and Mike Leitner, said their daughter Ella Kate had a large mass on a heart ventricle. Doctors told them about the diagnosis last November. On January 29 this year, after the couple attended Sunday mass services at their church in Mooresville, they received a call about a heart donor match for their child, ABC News shared.

Melanie said, "Celine, our other coordinator, called and said we got the offer for the perfect heart for Ella. If this wasn't a God moment, I don't know what could be." They placed Ella Kate's name under transplant list shortly after the diagnosis. The doctors also told the parents the heart transplant was necessary because Ella Kate might not survive for long. Melanie and Mike also revealed they started to lose hope because their daughter's condition worsened, Daily Mail revealed.

Ella Kate, who is now one-year-old and doctors said she is doing well, had complications regarding breathing. She was also gray most of the time. She underwent surgery after the heart donor match call and Dr. Gonzalo Wallis of the Levine Children's Hospital's pediatric heart transplant program took care of the child. 

Despite the success of the operation and the happiness of the couple, Melanie and Mike said receiving a transplant for their daughter meant heartbreak for another family. Melanie said the other family lost their child but even through the dark time, they made a decision to help save Ella Kate.

The story came out days after an Oklahoma couple decided to push through with their pregnancy despite knowing their baby will not live long after her delivery. The parents of the baby girl, Keri and Royce Young, said they wanted to develop their baby girl to the full term even if she does not have a cortex so as to donate her organs that are needed by many. Below is the couple's story:

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