Delaney Igoe shared her feelings about her brother’s heart transplant. She explained how she helped her brother recover and how she felt when she saw him for the first time after the surgery.
Igoe said she was nervous, and she wanted to help her brother recover.
“I felt really nervous and scared because I thought he probably wasn’t going to make it during surgery. My little brother Dylan was worse than I was. The only reason I stayed up all night was because he wanted me to stay with him, and my aunt and uncle stayed up too,” Igoe said. “Me and my neighbor made a poster with pictures of all of his hard times. Every time I went to Pittsburgh I took word searches, weather books and regular books for him to read.”
The Igoe family was very concerned when Dalton was taken into surgery.
“I would have thought that his life support would have stopped working and his medicine would have stopped working and his body would give out,” Igoe said.
The family worried about complications. Dalton did not have many problems.
“No, not really, because the heart fit perfectly in place because Dalton was small and the heart was small because it was a ten year old heart,” Igoe said.
Dalton was battling a congneital heart defect when he was put on the transplant list.
“When we got the call we were shocked because we only waited five days,” Delany Igoe said.
When the family received the call, there was not enough time until they needed to be at the hospital to be flown or ride in an ambulance. The state police escorted the Igoe family to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
“My parents had to take him. The rules said that the family couldn’t take him, but my mom and dad had to take him anyway because my uncle, who was supposed to take him, was at an auction two hours away,” Igoe said.
Igoe did have to wait to make the trip to Pittsburgh herself.
“Three days after because he was still out, like he didn’t wake up yet,” Igoe said.
When the family found out that Dalton was getting his new heart, they said a prayer for the family of the child who had lost his life.
Along with his congenital heart defect, Dalton was born with hypopastic right heart syndrome. Dalton also has energy-sapping disease and protein-losing enteropathy.
Igoe will always remember the moment before Dalton left.
“Just Dalton hugging me when he left, and he was crying,” Igoe said.
Shortly after the transplant, Dalton was to receive plasmapheresis treatments.
“The first day we went to see him, he had chest tubes and lung tubes and lots of IVs. It was too much for me to take in and I almost passed out, so I had to leave,” Igoe said.
Fundraisers, such as selling t-shirts at the junior high, Rock Dalton’s Beat and the community donating to help, helped the family raise lots of money for this highly expensive surgery. Without complications, the surgery would cost $890,000. With the family staying and the transportation, the expenses could increase to $1 million.