Parents hope for Christmas miracle waiting for another one of their children to have a heart transplant
Two Wading River parents are spending countless hours in the hospital once again, waiting for another one of their children to have a heart transplant.
Everett Cotter, 11 months old, is the family’s second child to need the procedure done. His sister, Ruby, had a heart transplant almost exactly two years ago as well.
When the Cotter’s were pregnant with Everett, doctors told them there was a 1% chance he would have the same heart condition as Ruby. On Friday, he successfully had a Jarvik heart device implanted that replaces the heart until he's ready for a transplant - only the eight child to get such a device.
While that surgery was taking place, members of the Stroller Stronger Mamas group in Riverhead decided to turn Friday's class into a fundraiser for the Cotter’s, even though many of them - including the organizer Rachel Goodale - don't even know the family.
"I guess it's just my heart hurting,” Goodale told News 12. "In all that's been going on it's just nice to see this huge community strong coming together for this family."
She says they were able to raise $250. Another group also organized a blood drive that's being held on Dec. 22 in Shoreham.
Ashley Cotter, Everett’s mom, says seeing the outpouring of support has been incredible.
"For people to rally behind us for a second time, to do it after we've already been through it once, we would never expect them to do that and they are and even stronger than the last time,” she said. “It's unimaginable."
Cotter also revealed the Jarvik surgery for Everett went great.
“He had a great night,” she added. “He's fantastic. He's starting to wake up a little bit. then he goes back to sleep- then he's wiggling his toes and his fingers. So those are all really promising things."
Everett will remain in Columbia's Cardiac Pediatric Intensive Care Unit until a match is found for a new heart.
His parents say that's expected to be within 3 to 6 months.