We gave her a new heart, and she stole ours

March 11, 2015

Morgan Porter’s parents thought their 2-year-old had a stomach virus. They took Morgan to see her pediatrician in Beaufort, who recognized that there was a bigger problem. He recommended that the family head up to MUSC.

In the long hours that followed, the Porters learned that a virus was attacking Morgan’s heart -- and that medicine couldn’t stop it. Morgan wound up on a heart and lung bypass machine to keep her heart pumping for a week. But that machine was only a short-term fix. Morgan needed a new heart.

While she waited for a transplant, she relied on the Berlin Heart to keep her alive. The Berlin Heart, a ventricular assist device, mechanically supports patients experiencing heart failure. Or, as Morgan explains it, “I had to get a new heart, because my heart was sick.”

After six months on the Berlin Heart, Morgan received her long-awaited transplant. She is now a healthy 7-year-old girl. She loves gymnastics, painting and chocolate chip cookies. She says her parents are her heroes. And she wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up.

Keywords: Patient stories