Stories of Hope

Amaya, heart recipient

Amaya’s transplant journey

Pediatric heart recipient Amaya was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a birth defect that affects normal blood flow through the heart. One of seven children, Amaya spent the first 10 months of her life in the hospital. A heart transplant saved her life — and gave her a chance to know the joy of growing up in a big happy family.


From her first breath, Amaya’s heart was failing her. Born without a left chamber to pump blood back out to her body, she was immediately rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit, and underwent heart surgery when she was just six days old. Her condition did not improve as hoped, and Amaya was unable to leave the hospital due to the intensive medical care she required. Without a heart transplant, she would not survive.

Amaya was placed on the national organ transplant waitlist when she was five months old. Three months later, she received the heart she desperately needed through the generosity of a pediatric organ donor and their family. The transplant surgery was a success, and Amaya was finally able to go home — for the very first time.


Life as a heart recipient

Seven years post-transplant, Amaya is thriving. Now a second grader, she loves coloring and playing outside. In short, Amaya is having fun just being a kid, and her parents treasure every moment of watching their daughter grow. Her donor family’s selfless decision to help others through organ donation is the gift that made it all possible. Today, Amaya’s family members are registered organ, eye and tissue donors themselves.

“Organ donation saves lives,” Amaya’s mother Serina said. “My daughter is proof of that.”