Seneca Falls, N.Y. - He is too young to understand his grave medical condition. From the week after his birth, Baby Blake has lived life hooked to machines to do the work his heart muscles are not strong enough to do on his own.
“I came home and noticed he was pale,” says his father Dean Simmons. “His heart was beating real fast like he ran a marathon.”
Blake was born in October with a congenital heart defect called non-compaction cardiomyopathy. His only hope is a transplant.
“It’s been two months now, you anticipate every single day a phone call,” says his mother Tracy Purdy in a phone interview. She has spent the last two months with Blake at Mt. Sinai hospital downstate, away from her family in Seneca Falls.
Last week in anticipation of her birthday, she posted on facebook she wanted just one gift, a heart for her son.
The next day, doctors called her in.
“They looked at me and they said ‘it’s going to happen.’ Then and there I just broke down in tears,” says Purdy.
Just before midnight on Thursday, Baby Blake was prepped for surgery. Six and a half hours later came news of the successful outcome. Each day has brought a new hurdle, but the tiny infant seems to manage them all with ease.
“Even the doctor says his progress is really amazing especially at being just 3 months old,” says Simmons. “He’s moving right along the way they want him to.”
On Thanksgiving Day Blake will mark his first week with his new heart. Passing that milestone without complications means he will likely return home to Seneca Falls in another week.
Blake’s parents will spend Thursday giving thanks for the prayers of strangers. “We’re praying for him in Colorado,” says one facebook post.
They will especially think of the parents who when faced with heartbreak, turned the loss of their child into life for another’s.
“I can’t imagine making that decision,” says Tracy Purdy. “They gave Blake a second chance at life and our family a second chance as well.”