Collins gets heart

Published 12:23 am Saturday, September 25, 2010

News spread quickly Thursday as family and friends learned of a miracle that awaited Austin Collins.

Collins was placed on the heart transplant waiting list in May. That months long wait ended just before 1 a.m. Thursday.

On the Care Page established for Collins through the UAB Health System in Birmingham where he is a patient, Collins’ mother, Susie Ivey, said the news of a donor heart was a great way to begin the day.

“Austin called us this morning at 12:52 a.m. (Thursday) to let us know he was going to get a heart transplant,” Ivey said in her post. “Wow, what a wake up call, but a great one at that.”

Collins, who graduated from T.R. Miller in May had been awaiting the news of a donor heart in Birmingham, which allowed him to be immediately available in the event of a match for the transplant.

Collins was diagnosed with congenital heart failure by physicians who said a transplant would be his best chance at survival.

Ivey said her son’s surgery began after family members made the drive to Birmingham Thursday morning.

“We left Brewton around 2:30 a.m. and arrived at about 4:45 a.m.,” Ivey said on the Care Page entry. “They finally started (surgery) around 9:20 a.m. and around 3 p.m. or so, they told us he was off the bypass machine.”

Ivey’s account of the time following surgery said Collins’ the procedure had ended with some problems but some of the problems have been resolved. But, doctors have explained that Collins could still face rejection issues.

“Dr. Kirklin came and talked to us around 6 p.m. and explained the transplant went good, but there was a problem,” Ivey’s account said.

“He had a positive cross match with the donor. They have already started treating him.”

As of Friday afternoon, though, Ivey wrote that the cross-match test was a false positive, which was good news for Austin.

Ivey’s faith appears strong as she waits through the recovery period with her son.

“We are not claiming anything bad,” Ivey wrote. “We only take good results. Just continue to pray. God is so good.”