Moline girl, 3, receives best birthday present of all: A new heart

Lurie Children's Hospital mark 400th heart transplant
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Delilah Edwards, 3, of Moline has been through more than many people face in a lifetime.

On Saturday she celebrated her third birthday while helping Lurie Children's Hospital mark its 400th heart transplant.

It's been just a few weeks since Delilah received her new heart and now she and her family are all back together again.

A daughter running into her father's arms - a moment the Edwards family is not taking for granted.

Delilah has undergone 10 surgeries and spent more than half her life in hospitals with a rare heart condition.

Before birth she was diagnosed with two congenital heart conditions: hypoplastic left heart syndrome and double outlet right ventricle. Both disorders affect how blood flow to the heart and require treatment as soon as a child is born for survival.

"We always stay positive but we were always prepared that you know, anything could turn at any moment" said her father Ryan Edwards. "You know , we doctors can only do so much."

Well those doctors did in fact save her life. In late October, her parents got the call that their little girl would be getting a new heart. It's all they waited more for more than seven months.

"Bunch of emotion, everything at once," said mother Samantha Davidson. "Yeah, everything at once. Happiness, just straight joy," agreed Edwards.

A new heart and plenty of new toys. The family taking it all in on her third birthday as Delilah is exceeding all expectations following her transplant.

The family taking it all in on her third birthday as Delilah is exceeding all expectations following her transplant.

"Her course has been truly outstanding. I mean, she's had really no complications post out from her heart, which can be rare to see sometimes," said Delilah's nurse Megan Miniat.

Her presence has also brought quite the atmosphere to the 22nd floor of this hospital.

"Her smile is absolutely contagious on this floor. I mean she lights up the whole unit. And whenever she comes around in her wagon, it's always a good day," said nurse Caroline Baubonis.

Delilah could be back home just days from now- a sense of normalcy the Edward family has been waiting three years for.

"This is definitely a big moment for us, for her. This is her moment," said Edwards.

"It's a little bittersweet .. we will miss her," said Miniat.
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