Nate and Kellye Cunningham handed their baby to the doctor. In the back of his mind, Nate couldn’t help but wonder if he would ever see his beautiful daughter again because death is always a possible outcome with heart transplants. It was 10 p.m. as Nate and Kellye headed to the waiting room to be with their families. They all patiently waited, hoped and prayed that Paige would get through this.
The weeks leading up to this night felt like a blur. Nate remembered the day the X-ray showed Paige’s enlarged heart. That was almost six months ago. It was such a shock when the doctor told them that she would need a heart transplant. Then there were those sixteen days. The sixteen days they waited for Paige’s new heart to arrive. Those two weeks felt like two months. It was hard to believe during all of this, he and Kellye found out she was pregnant with twins. Twins! Nate’s scattered mind drifted to the medical bills they had been getting at home and the time he had to take off from work. He knew he could worry about those things later. The most important thing was Paige. As he sat there with his family, he was reminded about what really mattered in his life: God and family.
At 5 a.m. the key surgeon walked into the room. The tension was undeniable. He paused, looked at Nate and Kellye and said, “Her old heart was pretty crummy. Her new heart is pretty good!” That was all the confirmation they needed. The transplant had been successful! From there, Paige recovered very quickly. After 7 days they were able to take their baby girl back home.
Because of you, our donors, Nate and Kellye were able to remain financially self-sufficient through this crisis. In January 2012, the couple happily added two baby girls to their family, Ella and Avery. Paige enjoys being a big sister, and they are a very happy (and busy) family of five.
“We are very grateful for Just Heart Foundation’s assistance while we went through this ordeal. As we initially went through all the treatment and time in the hospital, we began receiving hospital and medicine bills. Just Heart was absolutely fantastic, helping with many of our medical bills while providing compassionate service throughout our situation. We are very grateful to have had JHF’s assistance during our time of need. This took some of the financial worries away and allowed us to focus on Paige and being there for her.”
– Nate Cunningham