Long Island infant needs a new heart only 2 years after sister's heart transplant

Kristin Thorne Image
Tuesday, December 21, 2021
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Kristin Thorne has more on the family from Long Island facing the unthinkable.

SHOREHAM, Long Island (WABC) -- A family on Long Island is facing the unthinkable - their infant son needs a heart transplant only two years after their other child needed one.

One-year-old Everett Cotter, of Shoreham, is hospitalized at New York Presbyterian Hospital awaiting a heart transplant.

In September 2019, his older sister, Ruby Cotter, was in the same hospital ward waiting for her own transplant. She was only two months old at the time.

"I didn't want to believe that it was a possibility that it could have happened again," Everett's mother, Ashley Cotter, said when she got the news from doctors that Everett has the same heart condition as Ruby - dilated cardiomyopathy.

It's a condition in which the heart cannot pump blood effectively because it's enlarged.

Brian Cotter, Everett's father, said the family has no history of dilated cardiomyopathy.

"We're still unsure how it's happened twice," he said.

Ruby's heart took four months to arrive and her parents spent every moment in the hospital with her.

"It could be longer for him," Ashley Cotter said of Everett. "Because he's older and he's bigger and there's more kids on the waitlist."

Doctors performed open heart surgery and installed a device in Everett's heart on December 10, but he can't leave the hospital with it. He can only leave with a transplant.

"It's really hard to hope and wish and pray for a heart," Brian Cotter said. "Because you know it means a family out there is going to have their worst day ever."

Click here to become an organ donor in New York.

The New York Blood Center is hosting a blood drive in honor of Ruby Cotter and her heart transplant on December 22 at Shoreham Wading River High School. It will be held in the cafeteria from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Click here to make an appointment.

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