CINCINNATI - Peyton West has always had heart - just not all of his.
“He was born with half a heart,” his father, Corey West, told WCPO.
The 13-year-old from Goshen had three open-heart surgeries before he was 5. Since then he has lived a largely normal life.
“He's a lovable kid. He loves everybody. Everybody loves him.” Corey said.
But in life - as in love - hearts sometimes break.
“They looked at it in December and said, ‘Something's wrong. It's really sick. It's not good,’” Corey said.
“At one point the doctor mentioned he was teetering. That was the first time we heard that. That was nerve-wracking. That was scary."
Things got to the point where Peyton needed a heart transplant. He got one Friday during 12 hours of surgery at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.
The prognosis was good, Corey said.
”The doctors are real happy with what they see number-wise … how he looks. They're very excited. We're excited as well,” Corey said.
But the West family knows their joy is another family's sorrow.
“Their sacrifice and willingness to give gives Peyton an opportunity to live a full, healthier life,” Corey said.
It will take weeks for Peyton to recover, and even then he can't go more than 9 miles from the hospital.
”We're not sure what to expect, but we know it will be a lot better than it was,” his father said.