While Alex Homer was still in-utero, doctors discovered he had only half a heart—hypoplastic left heart syndrome. After multiple heart surgeries, strokes, and even liver surgery, at age 8, Alex received a heart transplant at Primary Children’s Hospital. He now lives each day to his active, joyful limit.
In 2016, Alex was honored by the Children’s Miracle Network as the Primary Children’s Hospital Utah Champion. He also spoke at a celebration last spring marking the 30th anniversary of the UTAH (Utah Transplant Affiliated Hospitals) Cardiac Transplant Program that includes Primary Children’s, Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, University of Utah Hospital, and The George E. Wahlen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
“Alex is a great example of collaborative care,” says Dr. Phillip Burch, Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Primary Children’s Hospital and the University of Utah School of Medicine’s Department of Surgery. “I think four separate cardiac surgeons have at one point or another operated on Alex, as well as general surgeons. We have a multi-disciplinary approach to provide good care to complicated patients. To see a child make it through that, to have a child who can now take a few medications and have a quality of life that’s very similar to children who were born without a cardiac defect, is probably the most rewarding thing.”
Alex says he has big plans for his new heart, including gratitude, joy, exploring, forgiving, and loving. And he is extremely grateful to his Primary Children’s Hospital doctors and caregivers. “Thank you for helping me be treated and for giving me a second chance at life.”
Alex’s mother, Brynn, concurs. “We have our son. I’m so thankful for Primary Children’s. Our family has a little brother, a big brother, and we have a chance to experience so many wonderful things with him.”
Number of heart transplants performed via the UTAH Cardiac program since 1985.
Number of heart transplants performed at Primary Children’s since 1985.