MINNETRISTA, Minnesota (FOX 9) – Currently, 52 infants are on the waiting list for heart transplants in the United States. Three month old Elodie Baker from Minnetrista is one of them.
She is the only Minnesota child under a year of age waiting for a heart transplant and has already spent more time in the hospital than most adults.
Her mother, Kate Baker, is a medical malpractice lawyer who has handled a number of personal injury cases. She and her husband, Collin, took every precaution before the arrival of their first child.
“When we first started trying to start a family, we were super vigilant,” Kate said. “We had an uncomplicated pregnancy followed by an uncomplicated delivery.”
Elodie Baker is the youngest from Minnesota on the waiting list for a new heart transplant at the age of three months.
But when Elodie was around seven weeks old, Kate sensed something was wrong when her baby refused to eat.
“She just gave that cry and my heart sank,” Kate said.
At first Kate thought it could be respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), so they went to a local emergency room where doctors took an x-ray of Elodie as a precaution.
“They saw that her heart had increased in size, and they put us in an ambulance and sent us to the Minneapolis Children’s Hospital, and we’ve been living in the hospital ever since,” Kate said.
Elodie was diagnosed with pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy, a rare condition that cannot be treated with surgery or medicine.
She is now the youngest in Minnesota on the waiting list for a new heart transplant.
“We don’t know why it happened, but all we can do is stand up for her now and hope that she will be okay, that she will be transplanted and that we will be her parents for a very long time.” Kate said.
Meanwhile, Elodie is being treated at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, but it’s unclear when a new heart will be available.
Three-month-old Elodie Baker, of Minnetrista, Minnesota, with her parents, Kate and Collin.
The system is based on compatibility, geographic location and time spent on the waiting list, and her transplant should come from another child of her size.
“It’s very hard to wish she had a heart because of the nature of it, but we just have to try and focus on Elodie,” Collin said.
Her parents hope that by sharing her story, people will continue to encourage Elodie and realize that transplants are truly a gift of life.
“The first thing we hope for is for people to sign up as donors,” Kate said. “One person has the capacity to save eight lives and that is a lot. It would help so many people and it would mean a lot to us and to Elodie.”
His parents established a Care bridge site so that supporters can follow its course.
You can find more information on how to become an organ donor at the following sites: