Las Vegas baby goes home for first time after successful heart transplant in California

Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 7:45 AM PST
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Home for the holidays has incredible meaning to Esmeralda and Franky Garcia.

“We dreamt about this moment for so long, being able to bring her home just in time for Thanksgiving, and Christmas,” said Mother Esmeralda Garcia.

“It feels amazing. She’s like a miracle,” said Franky Garcia.

The Garcia’s knew Amelia would need heart surgery after she was born. But they were stunned when doctors told them their daughter would need a new heart.

They got on the transplant list and struggled waiting for a donor heart. One became available. A day after getting that call, Amelia had another child’s heart beating strong in her body after a successful heart transplant surgery at UCLA in Southern California.

Amelia hasn’t left the hospital since being born but has recovered and is now back in Las Vegas with her mom and dad. The parents say it was hard not knowing day-to-day what was going to happen next.

“Going into her nursery and questioning, will she ever get to come here, come home. We got to see the day, and she’s here and she’s doing amazing,” said Esmeralda Garcia.

The Garcia’s say Amelia had a recent heart biopsy where doctors took cells. They say there’s no rejection of the new heart. They say Amelia is taking several medications each day, but their daughter is taking the medications by syringe with no major problems.

The couple is very appreciative for all the people who supported them financially and emotionally while they were gone.

“Thanks to everybody for the prayers, for the support from the community, and we just appreciate all of that. Prayers do help. They do help and miracles do exist,” said Franky Garica.

“It reminds you that there are so many people out there rooting for your, rooting for your baby that they haven’t even met. And it fills your heart with hope,” said Esmeralda Garcia.

Both say feeling Amelia’s heartbeat is very special to them.

“What I do is I touch her little heart and just take a little second of my day to think of the family that gave us that gift to see her reach these milestones. Because we never want to forget them,” said Esmeralda Garcia.

“Really appreciative to them for the parents saying yes for her to be able to get a heart. We’re forever going to be grateful. Words just can’t express the way you feel because they lost their baby to give life to ours,” said Franky Garcia.