Jason Richards of Redmond, WA, was born with Holt-Oram syndrome, which affects the bones in arms and hands, and can also cause heart problems. This syndrome resulted in his having heart defects his entire life; in November 2012 at the age of 11, Jason underwent transplant surgery for a new heart.
Complications in the procedure put him back in the hospital for seven months, however, despite post-operation efforts to make sure his body would not reject the new heart.
Jason’s most recent visit to the Seattle Children’s Hospital happened because he contracted Legionnaires’ disease. It is still unclear where he may have contracted it, however, and he is one of only two people in the Pacific Northwest region to have Legionnaires’ disease at this time.
His case of Legionnaires’ was so severe that he needed a bilevel positive airway pressure machine (BiPAP) to help him breathe and prevent his lungs from collapsing.
He was able to go home in November 2013 and is very glad to be home. He will be celebrating his 13th birthday on Monday March 3rd.