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‘Baby Moses’ Celebrates Fifth Anniversary of Transplant

November 20, 1990

LOMA LINDA, Calif. (AP) _ The youngster first known to the world as Baby Moses had a hospital party Tuesday to celebrate his fifth year as one of the world’s youngest heart transplant recipients.

Eddie Anguiano, who was born in 1985 with fatal underdevelopment of the left side of the heart, is healthy, rambunctious and a little terror at his pre-school, said his mother, Maria Anguiano.

″He’s doing really good,″ she said. ″I send him to school so they can wear him out for me.″

Initially identified only as Baby Moses because of his parents’ concern for privacy, Eddie was only 4 days old when doctors at Loma Linda University Medical Center implanted a tiny donor heart in his chest on Nov. 20, 1985. Identity of the donor was never disclosed.

He was the third infant to receive a heart transplant and the first to survive more than a few weeks.

Eddie joined his surgeon, Dr. Leonard Bailey, and others on the medical center staff for a picnic lunch at the hospital, located 60 miles east of Los Angeles.

Bailey was the surgeon who also transplanted a baboon heart into Baby Fae in 1984. Baby Fae, who suffered the same defect at Eddie, died 20 days after the controversial surgery.

Hospital children were invited to share the celebration, highlighted by clowns, and photos of the surgery were given to Eddie’s parents. One showed the surgical team working over the infant and the other showed Bailey reaching into a container holding Eddie’s new heart, said hospital spokesman Dick Shafer.

Since Eddie’s surgery, the procedure has become commonplace. Bailey and his partner, Dr. Steven Gundry, have performed more than 60 transplants in young children.

Eddie must take anti-rejection drugs twice a day but has enjoyed a dramatic improvement in his health during the past year, Mrs. Anguiano said. He now has sufficient resistance to fight off colds with over-the-counter drugs.

Eddie is scheduled to start kindergarten next year.

After pre-school he plays with cousins at his grandmother’s house.

″He’s a bully. He likes to take toys away″ from other children, Mrs. Anguiano said. ″If they don’t give it to him then he gets really mad and pinches them.″

Privacy remains a concern for Eddie’s parents. Mrs. Anguiano refused to identify the city where the family lives, saying only that it is in San Bernardino County.

Tuesday’s celebration was Eddie’s fifth in a week, counting a birthday party last Friday. Although Eddie likes the parties, he doesn’t really understand what they are about, Mrs. Anguiano said.

″I talk to him once in a while about the operation and the little scars on his chest,″ she said. ″He doesn’t quite understand, but hopefully when he gets a little older he will.″

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