After Long Wait, Five Year Old Gets Her Heart Transplant
Katy Murphy and her family in Wakefield had longest wait for her age and transplant category in the country.
A five year old Wakefield girl and her family received joyous and long-awaited news this week when they learned that after a two-year wait, a heart transplant was finally available.
Katy Murphy, who was born with a heart defect, had a 1A status as a transplant recipient, making her a highest-level priority on the waiting list. Late last year, she reportedly became the first 1A child patient to live at home instead of at the hospital. And yet not long before that, in late October, she was reportedly at Children's Hospital with congestive heart failure. One factor that contributed to the wait was the need for a heart compatible with a child of Katy's size.
At times, Katy has been able to go to school, reported her mother Aimee, but her health has otherwise kept her from being able to do many of the things that children her age might do.
On Tuesday evening, this website learned that since that initial conversation last week, Katy's family was told a heart was available. That night, the young patient was in a Boston hospital being prepared for the operation, which would reportedly take around 5 hours.
Just after 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Michael Murphy announced on the Be A Rock For Katy Facebook page that her new heart was "in and beating."
At 2:20 p.m., Murphy added another update to the Facebook page, stating that "Katy came through the surgery with flying colors. She is resting in ICU and doing great. The new heart is beating strongly and the lungs are adjusting better than expepected. Thanks everyone for all the prayers."
More updates will be provided when available.
Donations Welcome To Help With Financial Burden
Last week, Wakefield Patch had the opportunity to speak with Aimee Murphy of Wakefield about the long struggle her family has endured while awaiting a heart transplant for Katy. Aimee is a teacher who also makes cards, scrapbooks and other items and sells them online. A job layoff only further added to the family's situation a while back. The family has also continued having to make regular trips to Children's Hospital for routine checks and more.
Even with the transplant now performed, the family will still be making regular trips to Children's Hospital in the coming weeks, while facing a number of other related expenses. The Be a Rock for Katy Foundation accepts donations from those interested in lending a hand.
If you would like to make a donation, mail it to:
Be a Rock For Katy Foundation
The Savings Bank of Wakefield
357 Main Street
Wakefield, MA 01880
Payable to: Be A Rock For Katy Fund
Editor's Note: This story came to our attention soon after a story about a former Wakefield woman ran talking about her own experiences as a heart transplant recipient.
For more information about becoming an organ donor, visit the DonateLifeNewEngland.org website.