Home Heart Transplant Knox County parents share toddler's journey through recent heart transplant - WYMT News

Knox County parents share toddler's journey through recent heart transplant - WYMT News

4 min read

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Boone Herald's routine is not like most 16-month old's. He takes 12 medicines a day, starting at 8:30 A.M.

"We have a 15-minute window ... can't be late," Shad Herald, his dad, said.

Then on to therapy, his little feet go. Boone goes to speech, occupational, and physical therapy throughout the week.

"It's a little different getting him dressed because he's not as strong as his sister," Shad said.

Both Shad and his wife, Mandi, were happy to hear they were expecting one child, let alone two.

"We struggled for a long time to even get pregnant and then we found out we were having twins," Mandi said.

But doctors said Boone's heart was not as healthy as Brynlee's. He was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome not long after birth.

"The total left side of his heart was completely underdeveloped. It was not growing," she said.

Not being on this earth long, Boone is in the hospital more than most adults. Two surgeries later, doctors listed him for a third, a heart transplant.

"I just can't imagine these grown men working on these tiny little hearts and all these things just run through your head. 'How does this even work?'" his mom said.

Boone received his new heart on August 31, 2018.

Though he will always take some medicine, his parents say their baby boy is on his way to living a healthy, normal life.

"Anything that you've got in his hands he wants to play with. He'll pull my hat off my head and pull my beard," Shad said.

Boone's condition inspires them to make people aware of heart defects.

"You hear about them but until you're that parent, it doesn't mean the same to you until you're in that situation," Mandi said.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says congenital heart defects (CHD) affect one in 100 births every year in the United States.

Because February 7-14 is CHD Awareness Week, Boone's mom and dad hope his story will spread the word and save more lives.

"If it wasn't for people donating in the past, then my son may not be here," his dad said.

His parents started "Books for Boone" for patients experiencing a similar journey. The books are meant to help parents bond with their children in the hospital. Donations will be collected all month and delivered to Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

If interested in donating, you can contact the family on Facebook under Brave Boone: Our Whole Heart.

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