The child had hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a condition that leaves the left side of the organ underdeveloped. Surgeons performed a nine-hour operation at Newcastle's Freeman hospital after a donor's heart was found within weeks, rather than the months or even years it can take.
‘Eight-week-old Charlie Douthwaite, who was desperately in need of a new organ after being born with half a heart in October - became the youngest patient on the UK transplant waiting list.’
His mother, Tracie Waite, thanked the donor family for the "priceless, most precious gift that could ever be given." Douthwaite is now recovering from his nine-hour transplant surgery at Freeman Hospital in Newcastle upon Tyne, England and is expected to return home in 2018.
He was the youngest person on the United Kingdom transplant list. Last year, almost 500 people died while waiting for a transplant. Although the surgery is a success and Charlie will recover soon, like other babies who had a heart transplant, this British infant will have to depend on medication for rest of his life. However, the waiting list has almost trebled in a decade.