WARNING: Graphic Images
Willow Short was born with a congenital heart defect, detected while she was still in the womb . Doctors warned her mother, Megan, the baby could be stillborn. But Willow was born alive. And, at just six days of age, the little trooper survived a heart transplant.
A newborn’s heart is roughly the size of a walnut. It can fit into a spoon. The fact a child’s chest cavity is much smaller than an adult’s makes surgery more difficult. The time a transplant on a child takes will vary. The procedure may be as short as four hours or as long as sixteen.
Megan Short was extremely grateful to the donor’s family. She was quoted by the The Reading Eagle as saying, “Someone else’s child died so mine could live. I know they’re in so much pain. I’m so thankful.”
But Willow needed fifteen different medications, around the clock, after being discharged. Megan Short told the New York Times that she developed PTSD from the anxiety.
On Philly at Heart in a post titled “Learning to Heal: My Experience with PTSD” https://phillyatheart.com/2016/04/13/learning-to-heal-my-experience-with-ptsd/ Megan wrote:
“There are very few moments when you can clearly see your life as separated into the before and after. Having a child born with a severe congenital heart defect has been the most significant shift of my life. Like many moms, I have always put my family’s needs ahead of my own and forgotten to make time to take care of myself. Having a child with a life-threatening illness intensified that. I was so focused on learning everything I could to keep my child alive and to minimize the impact on my other children that I didn’t see the full impact that it had on me.”
This past week – two years after the transplant – Willow, her 5 y.o. brother, her 8 y.o. sister, and their mother were found murdered. The children’s father, Mark Short, also, killed the family dog before shooting himself.
Megan Short was planning to leave the marriage over what were described as domestic issues. She had briefly left Mark for another woman, but returned to try and salvage the marriage.
Little Willow received a heart transplant. Tragically, that was not enough to save her life.
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward” (Ps. 127: 3).
 Bullfax, “Willow Short, 2, Survived Heart Transplant Six Days After She Was Born But Not Her Troubled Home” (originally published in National Post), 8/8/16, http://www.bullfax.com/?q=node-willow-short-2-survived-heart-transplant-six-days-after.
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