Eva Palmer received a call from a nurse practitioner at 10:45 last Wednesday night informing her of the good news, the doctors had found a heart for her son, Brantley. Eva said she burst into burst into tears at the news, “I asked her if she was serious, she replied, ‘Yes ma’am its finally time’, I was completely over come with emotions joy, excitement, and anxiety as well.”
At 10 a.m. on May 9th five-year-old Brantley was taken down for surgery to receive his new heart, it was a 12 hour surgery ending at 10 p.m. “It was the longest 12 hours of our lives,” Eva said.
LEMS kindergarten student, Brantley Palmer has been in Egelston Hospital in Atlanta for 161 days, he received his heart transplant at day 154. One week post surgery, Brantley is amazing doctors and his family by walking and sitting up, eating McDonalds hashbrowns, and grinning from ear to ear.
In non medical terms Brantley was born with only one working side of his heart, it was also flipped backwards and on the wrong side of his body. He had the first two surgeries in a series of three to make his heart semi-normal. “We went to Vanderbilt for what we assumed was going to be just a routine heart Cath to check his heart out for the third surgery and they discovered that one of his valves was leaking and not making the blood flow properly so that’s when they told us he would need a transplant,” Eva said.
“As of today Brantley is doing very well, the doctors have said his new heart is working like it should, they have decreased him from eight liters or oxygen down to one and said he should be off oxygen totally soon, his labs and all the pictures and x-rays look good as well,” continued Eva.
In fact the Brantley is expected to be released from the hospital on Friday to go to the Ronald McDonald House where the family will stay at least three weeks as Brantley will have clinic visits and the doctors will be checking his labs and doing echos and EKGs to make sure he isn’t showing any signs of rejection.
“We should be home by the middle of June and they want him to have a normal life he will be able to go back to school in August, and, if he chooses, they say he can play sports as well,” said Eva.
“Our sweet boy is getting his second chance at a full healthy life he went from having a broken very sick heart to a healthy properly working one. He is no longer my blue tinted child but he is pink all over the correct blood flow to his entire body. I am so very grateful to the donor family who chose to make the decision they will never know just how thankful we are to them.”
The Palmer family says they would love to meet the donor family in the future.
Brantley is the son of Eva and Ross Palmer and has three sisters, Hannah, Aleah and Everlee and one brother, Gavin. Brantley will turn six-years-old on May 28th.