Family brings home baby with heart transplant for the first time

Published: Jul. 17, 2022 at 11:35 PM EDT
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WAYNE, W.Va. (WSAZ) - For the first time in his 10 months on this earth, Steele Merritt made it home.

Crowds lined the streets to welcome him home to Wayne, West Virginia.

“It has been rough not knowing if he is going to make it,” said Steele’s grandmother, Arlene Maynard.

Baby Steele is a fighter, he was born Sept. 28 at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital with Transposition of the Great Arteries.

Steele’s great grandmother Donna Merritt was proudly watching and waving as they went by.

“He is just so precious when that his little smile would have to be a help to anyone,” said Donna.

Steele had two open heart surgeries before receiving a heart transplant in April. Seth and Jennifer Merritt, Steele’s parents, never left their son’s side. They took turns staying with still in Cincinnati and took care of their three others.

The smile on Steele’s face is something Donna had only seen in pictures. She had not yet met her great grandson.

“It was so good I want to hold him I’m going to try to in a few minutes,” said Donna.

Arlene said her own heart was pounding, anxiously waiting to see Steele roll by.

“Overwhelmed didn’t know if we would see this day, God has blessed us,” said Arlene. “My daughter and son-in-law are amazing they took turns taking care of him.”

Sunday also marked a celebration for Arlene and her greatest gift came in such small wrapping.

“Best birthday ever,” said Arlene. “Couldn’t be any better than this.”

First responders escorted the Merritt Family to their home in Wayne.

Friends of the Merritt Family have set up a Go-Fund-Me to show the family support.

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