Wichita Falls Baby's Life Saved by Heart Transplant

    A Wichita Falls baby who is less than two months old is recovering from a heart transplant.
    Before she was born, doctors found that the baby had Dilated Cardiomyopathy -- meaning the heart is weak and enlarged, and cannot pump blood efficiently.
The heart transplant was a success ...
    Lexi and her mom and dad are staying at the Ronald McDonald house in Dallas while they take her to follow- up appointments ...
    But today, Lexi's grandmother spoke with us in Wichita Falls.
    The ultrasound for then-unborn baby Lexi Kotulek brought her grandmother and the rest of her family joy ... but also revealed a serious heart problem.
    Beth Carpenter
Lexi's Grandmother
   "It's shocking. First it's complete & utter despair ... & then you just pray & hopefully something will happen."
   Doctors said once Lexi was born, she'd have to stay in the hospital until she got a heart transplant ... Which could take up to 22 months.
   "She can't have any heart -- she has to have a small heart, because she was so small."
    When Lexi was born February 28th, doctors immediately put her on a ventilator.  On March 10th, doctors put her name on a transplant list on March 10th.  Lexi's grandmother says it was bittersweet ... Knowing another family would have to lose a child for Lexi to get a heart.  Just two days later, they got a phone call.
    "I came in here and told Jimmy, I says, 'they got a heart for Lexi!' I just - I broke down."
    All they know about the donor is that the heart was flown in from near Houston.
    "I'm just glad that that family had the courage. And were able to donate. Because that saved my granddaughter's life."
     The heart transplant was a success.  Lexi's grandma has a message for the donor's family ... Whoever they may be:
   "Just thank you. And we say prayers to help you through your grief. Because it's very hard to lose a child."
    Lexi is on Medicaid. If you'd like to attend a benefit to help with medical expenses, just head to the Lonesome Dove on Sunday from noon to three.
    There will be lunch, a live band, and a silent auction.

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