A Harrison County boy has become the first person in the country to undergo an experimental heart surgery. Fifteen-year-old Brandon Delancey suffers from a birth defect that left him with a weak heart. Earlier this year he received a heart transplant. Instead of replacing his old heart, doctors put in another heart to work along side it.
Brandon enjoys listening to the beat of both of his hearts. Especially after he and his family waited two difficult years for an organ transplant.
"We had two phone calls," his mother, Joan Delancey, said. "One right after his fifteenth birthday and that feel through. Then we had another one right at Christmas that feel through. Those were frustrating phone calls."
The waiting was over on February 12th when Brandon underwent heterotopic surgery. That's when a donor heart and an original heart work together. The new heart pumps the blood and the old heart takes up the pressure from the lungs. Brandon says the surgery has changed his life.
"I can actually get up and walk more [and I've] got a little more energy but not too much more," Brandon said. "Hopefully I'll be up running a marathon here shortly."
Brandon and his family say going through such a difficult ordeal has given them new perspective.
"I'd like to get to learn how to do the surgery that I've got. Because people they've told my other doctors in Jackson that they were crazy and things. That they can't do such transplants, but I'm walking living proof that they can," Brandon said.
Brandon knows he is the first in the country to undergo the experimental surgery, but he says he doesn't mind being the one chosen to try it out. The Delanceys plan to travel to Atlanta so doctors can determine if his body is accepting or rejecting his new heart. The family says their medical bills are in the eight digits and climbing. If you would like to help Brandon Delancey's family you can make a donation at any Hancock Bank