ATLANTA, Ga. - A Covington baby is finally headed home from the hospital after receiving the ultimate gift this Christmas: a new heart. Friday, Kaleb Waddleton's parents said goodbye to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta after living in the hospital for 96 days.
"CHOA will always be family to us," the baby's mother Marissa Waddleton said on Facebook. "They have and will continue to take the best care of Kaleb! We are truly blessed more than I can say. We owe it all to the Good Lord above!"
Several months ago his parents thought he had a simple cold, but instead doctors diagnosed him with dilated cardiomyopathy. Simply put: he had weak heart muscle and the symptoms included coughing, dizziness, fatigue, loss of appetite and bloating.
"His heart is not squeezing," Marissa Waddleton told FOX Medical Team's Beth Galvin in September. Since then, Kaleb had been at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta receiving treatments while he waited on a new heart. Last week, Kaleb's father, Kale Waddleton, told FOX 5 News they learned their son would be the recipient of a new heart. Since then, his family said he's been doing exceptionally well.
"Best personality you'll ever meet. He's got the nurses in the palms of his hands," Waddleton told FOX 5 last week.
On Wednesday, Kaleb turned 6-months-old and was moved to the step down unit and has been been making great strides ever since. Marissa Waddleton said last week she was praying for the family that made a selfless decision to donate their child's heart, so Kaleb could receive it. His family said that all praise should go to God for seeing Kaleb through the surgery.
Many people have been sending Kaleb "prayers and cards" to decorate his hospital room. If you would like to spread the holiday cheer and send Kaleb a Christmas card (to now hang up at his home), please mail your letters to: