Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Heart transplant at 5, playing hockey and soccer at 10

diagram showing a healthy heart and one suffer...

Isaac Schoenhais lived the first five years of his life with only half a heart suffering from Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. He could only manage a few steps before being tired, had to be helped up stairs, and could only sit and watch while other kids played. It was no way for a young boy to live. He underwent numerous surgeries in an attempt to help his condition, but both his parents and his doctor's knew that eventually he would have to have a heart transplant in order to live any longer. That day came five years ago.

Isaac was placed on the waiting list on April 17, 2006 and waited only nine days before the call came that a heart was available for him. After spending nine days in the hospital after his transplant, he went home eager to finally get his chance to enjoy what other boys his age took for granted - physical activity, mainly sports. The wrote a great article, A New Heart at 5 - A New Life at 10, telling all about this young man's story. Isaac is now playing soccer and even hockey. In fact, his dad said, in regards to the hockey playing, "At the beginning, we were kind of hesitant. But then again, he had waited so long, we weren't gonna hold him back."

Recently, Isaac was given the opportunity to skate around with some Toronto Maple Leafs players at Air Canada Centre. I'm sure that was a huge thrill for the 10-year old since hockey is as big to Canadian kids as the NFL is to kids in the U.S. Hopefully, Isaac will have many quality years to enjoy many, many more special moments like the Maple Leafs' skate around.
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