Four-year old Fruita boy needs heart transplant

Published: Jan. 22, 2020 at 10:50 PM MST
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Four-year-old Carter Seely was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, meaning the left side of his heart was not formed.

“He had to be ‘flight for life’d’ over 24 hours after he was born as soon as they found out his condition. It’s fatal if nothing is done,” says his mom, Shanalyn Hibberd.

Since birth Carter has had three open-heart surgeries, at least five Cardiac catheterizations, vocal chord paralysis and has suffered a stroke on the left side of his brain.

Back in April of 2019 Carter was flown to Denver Children’s Hospital where doctors discovered his condition had only worsened: his heart was now failing.

“His heart failure has been progressing so we’ve been bouncing back and forth between the step-down unit in the ICU and that’s hard on him because he just wants to go play and go outside and go to school,” says his dad, Trent Seely.

Since September his heart failure has become worse. After many attempts at different medical treatments, the only solution for Carter is a heart transplant. He and his family have been kept inpatient in the hospital waiting for a transplant.

“The heart failure can affect all of his organs and if he has any other kind of organ failure that could complicate his ability to be listed for a transplant,” says Trent.

Since then the family has had to temporarily relocate to Aurora, as the care Carter needs can only be met on the Front Range. The family has been able to receive housing from Brent’s Place, a charity organization that gives families with a life-threatening illness a home away from home.

His parents, Shanalyn and Trent, had to leave their jobs and their home behind in Fruita.

“We would really like to move back home,” says Shanalyn.

“That’s our home for us. That’s where Shanalyn and I grew up and that’s where our family is and that’s where we want to be,” says Trent.

There is still no match for a new heart for Carter. Trent and Shanalyn say Carter’s young age is very difficult for transplants. His blood type is O negative, so when receiving a heart he can only receive O negative donors.

But they are not giving up hope as they wait for the day Carter can get a new ticker.

“We really appreciate prayers and thoughts because through his entire time prayers have worked for us,” says Shanalyn.

Like any four-year-old boy, Carter likes to play. He’s a big fan of Lightning McQueen from Pixar’s Cars and his biggest idols are police and firemen.

To view Carter's Gofundme page: