Anna student to get donor heart

By Patricia Ann Speelman -

CINCINNATI — Hayden Weiskittel, an Anna High School freshman who has been hospitalized since February waiting for a heart transplant, is in surgery at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital as this is being written.

At about 4 p.m., April 4, Hayden’s mother, Christa, posted to her son’s Facebook page at She wrote that at 1:24 a.m., April 4, they had got a call that a donor heart had been accepted for Hayden. He was scheduled to go into surgery at 1:30 p.m., Tuesday; however, the surgery was postponed because “there has been a delay in harvesting the donor heart,” Christa wrote.

At 6 p.m., she posted that a team was harvesting the heart then and that surgeons had made their first incision of Hayden at 5:40 p.m.

At 8 p.m., Christa reported that “Hayden has been switched to bypass and is doing OK. The donor heart is expected to arrive around 8:30 p.m.”

The transplant surgery is expected to take several hours.

The son of Christa and Scott Weiskittel, of Anna, has been hospitalized at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital since Feb. 8, but his heart problems date back to the day he was born.

He came into the world with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, Christa said. That’s a congenital heart defect in which the left side of Hayden’s heart was not sufficiently developed to function properly.

He underwent surgery within his first two days of life and another two reconstructive surgeries before he was 2. The procedures were designed to “make what he had work for him,” Christa said. He has two chambers in his heart. Most people have four.

Hayden’s heart failure has been gradual throughout his 15 years. He’s always taken medication to maintain the organ, but the meds’ effectiveness began to diminish in October and that’s when his name was added to those of children worldwide who await new hearts.

“There are three statuses for organ donation. He was low (in status),” Hayden’s mother said. He began to take diuretics to counteract fluid retention. But in February, it was found that he was at the limit of diuretic therapy. He couldn’t take more without comprising his kidney function and what he was taking wasn’t working enough.

So, Hayden was admitted to Children’s Hospital and put on intravenous medication. That immediately bumped his transplant list status to the highest level.

The Sidney Daily News will publish updates on the web as they are available and will have a story in Thursday’s print edition.

By Patricia Ann Speelman

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.