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3 year-old beating the odds after receiving heart transplant

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Posted at 6:12 AM, Jul 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-24 08:32:04-04

If there is one word to describe Elliot Dykstra, it's strong. This little boy has been through more in his short 3 years than most of us in our lives. But despite every obstacle, he never stops fighting.

Back in 2018, we introduced you to Elliot and his family. We met them after they just got home from spending more than 300 days in the hospital, after Elliot was born about 3 months early.

He was born with transposition of the great arteries, meaning the two main arteries that come out of his heart are backward, causing problems with oxygen flow. In fact, doctors say he is the youngest born survivor of that condition.

Fast forward 3 years and we sat down with Elliot and his family via ZOOM. His parents say he has been making gradual steps forward but recently, when his trach tube was removed, the pressure in his heart changed and he went into heart failure.

That’s when Elliot was put on the transplant list, yet again having to overcome another obstacle.

“We lean on each other and lean on God," said Elliot's parents. "That's about all we had at the time. And we made it through the best we could. And I just kept telling myself if it's meant to be, it's going to be. We'll be in the hospital if we need to, we'll be home if we can. He'll get a heart when one comes available and when it's right for him. If it’s meant to be, it’s going to work out and all I can do is trust that things are going to work out for that plan."

After waiting five months, Elliot got a heart transplant. “He wakes up the day after surgery already giving people a hard time, like he just never quit. He never was down. He's always got a smile on his face, even when he feels pretty lousy.”

The Dykstras say there are no words to express how thankful they are for Elliot's heart and how it saved his life.

“Without the gift of life, our son wouldn't be here. It's hard to think of the family that lost their loved one, but their gift gave us ours. That's not anything that we could really ever put into words to express that gratitude or what that means to have a healthy son back home again.”

Follow along on Elliot’s journey