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updated: 6/21/2012 12:11 PM

Lombard boy first heart transplant recipient at Lurie Hospital

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  • Tim Grobart, shown at age 3 in a 2009 photo outside his Lombard home, has had seven heart surgeries since birth to deal with a rare heart defect. On Wednesday, Tim became the first heart transplant recipient at Lurie Children's Hospital.

      Tim Grobart, shown at age 3 in a 2009 photo outside his Lombard home, has had seven heart surgeries since birth to deal with a rare heart defect. On Wednesday, Tim became the first heart transplant recipient at Lurie Children's Hospital.
    Daily Herald File Photo

  • Tim Grobart, a 5-year-old Lombard boy, became the new Lurie Children's Hospital's first heart transplant recipient in surgery completed Wednesday. He had been waiting for a donor since May 30, after suffering a heart attack at home.

      Tim Grobart, a 5-year-old Lombard boy, became the new Lurie Children's Hospital's first heart transplant recipient in surgery completed Wednesday. He had been waiting for a donor since May 30, after suffering a heart attack at home.
    Photo Courtesy Jeff Grobart

 
 

A 5-year-old Lombard boy is said to be doing well as he recovers from heart transplant surgery -- the first such operation to take place at the new Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago.

Tim Grobart, born with a rare heart defect that was diagnosed when he was 4 months old, had been on a waiting list for a new heart until 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, when his family got word that a donor organ was available, and Tim was a match. He had moved up on the priority list after suffering a heart attack at home May 30 and subsequently was admitted to the old Children's Memorial Hospital -- just days before the hospital's move to its new facility.

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Tim has endured seven heart surgeries since birth -- perhaps none more invasive than the transplant operation that took place overnight Tuesday, or a "double switch" of his old heart's blood vessels in 2010.

After a nearly eight-hour surgery concluded about 4 a.m. Wednesday, Tim was recovering, still heavily sedated and using a ventilator, but expected to regain consciousness in the next few days. He's expected to return home in two weeks, according to his dad, Jeff Grobart.

"Everything went as well as we could hope," Grobart said.

Tim will undergo testing in the upcoming months to make sure his new heart is not rejected.

Grobart said Tim's heart came from a family who lost their child and decided to donate the child's heart and other organs.

The Grobart family plans to formally thank the donor family by way of the hospital or transplant network. The identity of the family is unknown, per confidentiality rules, but they do have the option of reaching out to the Grobarts.

"We're extremely grateful they were able to give Tim this gift of life," Grobart said. "The reality is you never know when a heart or any organ is going to be available. The doctor said it could be 20 minutes, 20 months or 2 years. You never know."

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