Just when Mindy and Rob Seay were starting to lose hope, a miracle happened.
Their son Lincoln was born with heterotaxy, a severe heart defect, seven months ago. He had been waiting for a new heart since November, and on Feb. 18, it finally arrived.
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A doctor at Seattle Children's Hospital broke the good news to Mindy Seay that day, and proceeded to discuss the next steps for about 20 minutes. But the 35-year-old mom didn't hear anything after learning they finally had a donor.
"I was feeling every emotion possible all at once," Seay told TODAY.com. "I'm so happy and grateful that Lincoln gets to have a chance at life."
Rob Seay, 37, who was on his way to the hospital, got nervous when he got his wife's phone call.
"The last time she called me unexpectedly, it was to tell me Lincoln was going into cardiac arrest," he told TODAY.com.
Lincoln went into surgery on Feb. 19 and was transferred out of the intensive care unit on Wednesday, with the hope that he will be discharged next week.
The Seay family, who picked up and moved to Seattle from Anchorage, Alaska, on Oct. 30, has to stick around the area for another three to five months for Lincoln's biopsies. The couple's sons Canaan, 6, and Israel, 9, are both attending a special school for kids whose siblings are in the hospital, while their daughter Leilani, 16, stayed back to attend high school.
On Feb. 10, before Lincoln's new heart arrived, Mindy Seay wrote a letter to the mother of her son's heart donor, not knowing if, or when, he would receive one.
"It was an idea that had been brewing in my mind since he was put on the donor list," she said. "There's nothing I want more than for my son to live, but I hate that another child has to pass for that to happen."
Even though the letter was meant for the donor's mother, Seay posted it to her blog about Lincoln's progress, as well as on Facebook, in hopes of helping people in her situation.
"I want you to know that I will always have the utmost respect for the gift we will be given," she wrote. "I will treasure that heart more than I’ve ever treasured any gift. I will care for that gift to the very best of my ability and will be sure we always give reverence and respect to the child and family from which it came. We may never now you by name, but I will know you deep in my soul."
She continued: "Your child and mine will be forever entertwined (sic) as the heart that grew in your womb now pumps the blood through the body of the child created in mine. They have merged in a way, and your child will forever live on in mine. When my child bleeds, I will think of you. When I bandage his scraped knee, I will think of you. When I hear his heart beat, I will remember you. When his eyes flutter closed as he falls asleep, I will remember your beautiful child. I will say prayers of gratitude and blessings over your family, often. I will treasure the gift you’ve given. I promise."