Michigan Couple Who Donated Heart Meet Baby Jesse
LOMA LINDA, Calif. (AP) _ The Michigan couple who donated their son’s heart to Baby Jesse looked at the small transplant patient through a glass partition and made plans to keep in touch with Jesse’s parents.
Frank Clemenshaw, 22, and Deborah Walters, 33, of Grand Rapids, Mich., met Jesse Sepulveda, 26, and Deana Binkley, 17, of Pasadena on Sunday. The visitors went to Loma Linda University Medical Center on Monday and looked young Jesse Dean Sepulveda, said Susan Carpenter McMillan, spokeswoman for the Sepulveda family.
″It was fascinating to see them (the couples) together,″ Ms. McMillan said. ″At the same time, it was awkward to ask questions because you are talking about the life of one child and the death of another.″
Ms. McMillan said there was a real bond between the two families. They made plans to write and see each other again, she said.
″I don’t know if you ever had the feeling that you’ve known somebody for a real long time that you’ve never met, but it was that kind of thing,″ Sepulveda said during an interview on NBC-TV’s ″Today″ show.
Clemenshaw and Miss Walters donated the heart of their brain-dead infant to Baby Jesse two weeks ago.
Baby Jesse was doing reasonably well and showing no signs of rejecting the transplanted heart, said Jayne McGill, spokeswoman for the hospital 60 miles east of Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, Loma Linda doctors monitoring Baby Nicky maintained an hour-to- hour vigil at the bedside of the 3-year-old San Antonio, Texas, boy, who remained in critical condition, Ms. McGill said.
Nicky Carrizales received the heart of a 6-year-old boy last Thursday, but there was still no significant change in his condition, she said. Nicky was on a respirator and other support equipment and was being treated for acute kidney failure.
On Friday, Baby Nicky’s doctors used a balloon catheter to expand a constricted artery that was restricting the flow of blood leaving the heart. Surgery performed on Nicky as an infant failed to completely repair the narrowing of his aorta, doctors discovered.
Nicky, whose own heart muscle had severely degenerated, is the son of Rudy Carrizales, an X-ray technologist at Kelly Air Force Base in Texas, and his wife, Mary Lou.