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Patient Stories

Toddler who “lived” in the hospital gets a new heart

adam batista and family

Em português

Adam Batista of Waterbury, CT, is a bubbly 2-year-old who loves cars and his older brothers. He was born with a rare heart defect that typically requires a few surgeries to correct. Because of ongoing weaking of his heart as well as clotting complications, Adam needed a heart transplant.

“As soon as the doctors proposed a transplant, I thought we must fight to give Adam the best life possible – the quality of life he deserves,” said Debora Batista, Adam’s mom. 

Adam spent much of his life to this point in hospitals. His care team describes him as a fun, silly child who brought laughter to the unit.

“Through everything he was a funny kid, sliding his car under the door, petting our therapy dog, and waving to other patients,” said Shelby Caban, PA, who also received a transplant at a young age.

adam batista

Adam on his day of discharge from Yale New Haven Children's Hopsital.

“We hope families take comfort in knowing our unit is a small family and we really get to know our patients. What was striking about this family was how sweet and brave they were. Adam was never alone, and they never lost hope.”

Kevin Hall, MD, Director, Pediatric Heart Failure and Transplantation, Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, explained that on a few occasions the team thought they had an available heart – but those hearts didn’t meet the team’s standards. He also emphasized that infection prevention around Adam had to be extra meticulous because even a cold could derail a transplant. After five months in the hospital, Adam got his perfect heart. 

“Taking care of transplant kids is so special because you see the gift of life in action,” said Agustina Dirocco, NP, Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care, Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital. “Adam was transplanted on Sept. 7 and went home on Sept. 26 – that is amazing. His surgery went beautifully in every way. You wouldn’t even know he had a transplant if you look at him today.”

Debora credits her faith for keeping her grounded during Adam’s stay. She is grateful for all the support from the doctors, nurses, spiritual services, and the Ronald McDonald House.

“For months, we basically lived in the hospital,” said Debora “We just needed everyone to believe everything will be ok and things will get better. Nothing bad lasts forever.”