Riley kids celebrate their hearts - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Riley kids celebrate their hearts

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INDIANAPOLIS -

Nearly 50 young heart transplant recipients from across the state gathered at NCAA headquarters Saturday to celebrate their lifesaving transplants. 

Two-year-old Logan has a lot of energy, especially for a child who had a heart transplant six months ago.

"Within two days of the surgery, he was better. We didn't know we were taking life for granted before. When his life was on the line, and we realized we might lose him; it just makes every day more special especially around Christmas the holidays," said father Justin Leatherman.

Like the other kids at Saturday's event, Logan Leatherman is a Riley Kid. All of them have "new" hearts. It's an annual event planned for these families to celebrate their little guy or gal.

One neat thing about this event every year is that the parents and the kids get to talk about what they are going through. The parents get a chance to answer and ask questions about heart transplants. While the kids get to enjoy themselves, while hanging out with kids who have been through what they've been through. 

"The families here have gone through an amazing struggle. They are dealing with a child who was dying. And we've been able to successfully give heart transplants to more than 140 kids now," said Dr. Randall Caldwell with Riley Hospital for Children.

Riley Hospital is the only children's hospital in Indiana that offers organ transplants for children.

Those children celebrating their 5-, 10-, 15- or 20-year anniversaries Saturday received an extra special gift at the ceremony. 
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