Las Vegas baby now on transplant list in Southern California

Amelia is now healthy enough to be on the transplant list, meaning a transplant could come at any time.
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 7:39 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Franky and Esmeralda Garcia take life day by day as they deal with their eight-week-old daughter Amelia who needs a new heart.

“Amelia has been listed on the transplant list,” Esmeralda recently told FOX5.

She says Amelia has also been taken off oxygen support and now can learn how to eat through her mouth. The couple can also hold her without a lot of tubes and equipment getting in the way. They say it was tough when she was getting help breathing.

“We had to get the respiratory team to come out there to help us. It was just too much. And now we’re able to just pick her up. That’s like one of the best feelings,” said Franky Garcia.

“It’s so magical every time you can just pick up your baby off of her little crib,” said Esmeralda.

The couple knew Amelia would need heart surgery when she was born but didn’t expect doctors to tell them she would need a new heart. They say waiting for a donor’s heart is difficult and they agonize that a baby would have to pass for Amelia to live.

“It’s a heartbreaking thing, what somebody else is going to go through,” said Franky Garcia.

“I just pray for that mom,” said Esmeralda.

The couple has signed up with COTA, the Children’s Organ Transplant Association. People can donate there to help with transplant-related expenses. And the Garcia family says it will help with ongoing transplant medical expenses as Amelia gets older. People can go here to donate and to read more about Amelia’s story.