Christian Bruce receives second heart transplant
Sunday was a special Mother's Day for Lori Faulkner, mother of Christian Bruce, a young Caraway man. The family are counting their blessings as Christian is home after undergoing a second heart transplant on April 17 at the Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock.
Christian's first heart transplant was in July 1997. The headlines of the Town Crier front page story on July 8, 1997, read, "Caraway toddler receives ultimate gift."
"We feel so blessed to have a second miracle in our lives," Mrs. Faulkner said.
Christian, 18, is the son of John Bruce and stepson of Jeremy Faulkner, and the brother of Ashley, Haydn, Jackson and Gus.
Christian and his mother expressed their appreciation to their family, friends, and community for all of the support, prayers, and calls they have received. He said his friends at Riverside had a green day in honor of Christian and a red tee shirt day made for the heart.
Christian was 15 months old when he had his first heart transplant following three open heart surgeries. He was six months old when his heart defects were discovered.
"This transplant was a little more difficult for me than the first because any decision made had to come from Christian," Mrs. Faulkner said. "I just prayed he would make the best decisions for him. I can't say enough about the caring people who are willing to become organ donors. They give the ultimate."
Christian wanted to be back home by May 9 so he could attend Riverside High School's 2014 graduation. It is the class he started to school with. Due to circumstances he is one grade behind in his own graduation schedule but he wanted to be there for his friends and family. His wish came true. He was able to get out of the hospital in time to attend graduation ceremonies.
Christian's mother was happy to have her oldest son home on Mother's Day. She felt blessed to be back in her home church of New Hope on Mother's Day. The name of their church fits their outlook for life.
"It was a most blessed day for me, Mrs. Faulkner said. "To celebrate life as a mother, to celebrate the lives of my children and knowing there is hope for my son to have life in the future."