Family raising heart failure awareness after learning their 8-year-old son needed heart transplant

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A metro family is giving thanks and trying to raise awareness of an organization that helps families of children in need of heart transplant surgeries.

Four years ago, the Parker family was shocked at what doctors told them about their son, Brody Parker, who was 8 years old at the time.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

Channel 2′s Tom Regan spoke with the Cartersville family about what happened to their, now 13-year-old, son.

Parker had been a very healthy and athletic kid.

But over a short time, he got sick with pneumonia, the flu, and other gastrointestinal and respiratory illnesses.

After going to the hospital, they learned Brody had heart failure.

“What he’s talking about, on June 1, we had no idea we were in heart failure until that night, we almost lost him. They did emergency surgery in the middle of the night, got him stabilized and about seven weeks later he got the transplant,” said Parker.

Brody was happy to have gotten his heart transplant just before his ninth birthday.

“When I was in the hospital, it wasn’t the best of times, but I’m happy I got a heart transplant because I got to relive. I get like a second chance at life,” said Brody.


Brody and his father are encouraging people this month to buy a Peachtree flower bouquet from Urban Stems, a floral delivery company. $5 from each bouquet sold through Dec. 16, will be donated to Enduring Hearts, a nonprofit dedicated to funding research to support pediatric heart transplant patients.

The family said they didn’t know who the heart donor was, but they are grateful.

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]