Baby who received heart transplant leaves hospital

April 10, 2008 4:28:35 PM PDT
There was a big step forward on the road to recovery for a baby born with a defective heart.Little Fintan Schiltz had an emergency transplant just after Christmas at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago. On Thursday, he left the hospital.

For now, baby Fintan and his family are staying at a recovery home called Kohl's House.

Mark and Gina Schiltz of St. Charles could not be happier. They have been waiting for this day for months. They get to leave the hospital with 6-month-old Fintan Patrick Schiltz.

"He's had a big day so he's a little tired," said Mark Schiltz.

"It's amazing, long time coming, this is what we had planned on seven months ago," said Gina Schiltz. "We're thrilled and our other kids will be seeing him soon."

Fintan is on 16 different medications and eating through a g-tube. His mother says he has fought bravely to live.

"I could never have gone through what he did," said Gina Schiltz. "He is my little hero."

"It hasn't been easy at all," said Mark Schiltz. "But I have to say that for Gina and I from the very beginning, our faith has been our source of strength."

Fintan was born with a defective heart. Hours after his birth, his Catholic family learned a donor's heart was available

"An amazing family had a very, very, incredibly hard Christmas Day in 2007, and because of their generosity and courage, our son is alive today," said Mark Schiltz.

The family has been learning how to care for Fintan. They will remain at Kohl's for at least two weeks.

"He'll need a lot of medical care. He needs to be monitored for problems with the new heart, rejection, infection, those sort of things and so it's really a lifetime of medical care," said Dr. Jeffrey Gossett, Fintan's doctor.

"We've been trained well," said Gina Schiltz. "And so, we're ready for it."

Friends of the Schiltz family will be performing a benefit concert for Fintan on the evening of April 20 at the Arcade Theater in St. Charles. All money raised will go directly to the Schiltz family to help them with their medical expenses.

For more on the concert, visit The Daily Herald

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