Little Central Texas boy with new heart released from the hospital
A Central Texas toddler who received a new heart in late March at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston has been released from the hospital after eight months in the cardiac intensive care unit.
Barron Shoemaker, a 22 month old Temple boy, was released Tuesday, but remains in Houston to be near the hospital for the next few weeks while he continues to recover.
He turns 2 next week.
"Man, we have been waiting for this day for so long," Barron's parents, Ashley and Luke Shoemaker, posted online.
"Barron’s biopsy results were positive and labs were stable, so we got to bust out today," they said in the post.
Luke and Ashley have been splitting shifts, living at the hospital with their son since September, while also maintaining their jobs back in Central Texas.
Luke was at the hospital when the surprise and sudden news came that a donor was found on March 22 and Barron would be headed into surgery in just hours.
Ashley, who was back in Central Texas, wasn't able to be there for the surgery or even visit Barron in the days following because the hospital is closed to visitors in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
She finally got to see Barron a few weeks ago.
Barron is doing well, his family says, enjoying his new found freedom away from a hospital room.
"Bear is liking the extra room to run around in, and didn’t fuss with meds tonight," his parents posted on his first night away from the hospital.
The parents are hoping Barron will continue to do well enough to be released home to Temple "in the next month or two."
They want to thank the donor and his family again for the gift of life and all the many nurses, doctors and medical staff who helped safe their son's life.
"While we are overjoyed at being well enough to leave, it was bittersweet telling the amazing doctors, nurses, VAD coordinators, OT, PT, and child life friends goodbye," they posted.
"We have been so lucky and blessed to have their care these past seven months. We will be forever grateful to them and Texas Children’s."