10-year-old boy born with heart condition receives life-changing transplant

Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 2:29 AM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KMBC) - A 10-year-old boy is looking forward to riding rollercoasters and participating in sports after a heart transplant gave him a new lease on life.

Garrett Malsam was born with a heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which causes stiffness in the heart walls and can impede blood flow. When he was just 4 months old, his family knew that at some point, he would probably need a heart transplant.

At age 6, Garrett suffered his first cardiac arrest even during recess at school. After that, there multiple surgeries at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, and multiple setbacks.

“Your mind just always wonders, ‘What’s going to happen next?’” said Ingrid Malsam, Garrett’s mother.

In September, doctors told the family that Garrett, now 10, needed a new heart. They said he wouldn’t be able to leave the hospital until then.

Garrett received his new heart on Thanksgiving Day, the 31st child to get a transplant at the hospital.

“Everything we’ve told him and certainly everything a doctor has told him, he’s always taken it in stride,” said Neil Malsam, Garrett’s father.

After years of no sports, Garrett’s first big activity after the transplant was sledding after a snowstorm.

“It was fun. The worst part was climbing back up the hill,” he said.

He is also back in school full-time and says he can’t wait to try out rollercoasters.

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