Baby Born with Half a Heart. 4 Months Later, Stroke Leaves Him Waiting for Transplant


Life started off rough for Abel Protiva but has now blossomed into days filled with hope, love, and happiness.

To everyone else, the baby boy is a survivor, and according to his backstory, he’s also a little fighter.

Mom, Wendy Wees, would know his story all too well. At just 20 weeks pregnant with Abel, she and her husband were told some devastating news.

While visiting the doctor about their baby’s gender, they were also informed about his condition.

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He had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, meaning, he would be born with half his heart.

What followed next was months of treatment. Abel had surgery at just 6 days old, and while doctors hoped he wouldn’t need a heart transplant until later on in life, he suddenly had a stroke.

The little guy was put on a list for a transplant, and at 4 months old, he became the recipient of a new heart.

“It was a tough day because we know what happened on the other end of our story, and his new heart was perfect,” Wees told KMTV-TV.

Abel has continued to develop into a sweet little boy. “He is so strong, and smiley and happy, he’s great,” said older sister, Kaya Koraleski.

Although he still has to use a feeding tube, Abel has been looking and feeling good. Wees said it’s all thanks to the Children’s Hospital and Medical Center as well as the American Heart Association.

Since his recovery, Abel has been honored by the AHA chapter in Nebraska.

Koraleski is a sweetheart for the organization and will be presented at the 2018 Heart & Stroke Ball on Feb. 3.

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Abel will also be there, accompanying his big sis as the Prince of the Ball. It’s something that has brought joy to Wees’s heart.

In response to a documentary video dedicated to her son, Wees said: “Thank you American Heart Association – Nebraska for honoring Abel this February. We are so proud of him and incredibly thankful that his journey is documented so well.”

The next thing the family hopes to make possible is getting Abel off his feeding tube for good.

With all that he has been through thus far, I’m sure this baby boy will continue to overcome anything life throws his way.

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