Heart recipient leaves hospital

By Patricia Ann Speelman - pspeelman@aimmedianetwork.com



CINCINNATI — Hayden Weiskittel, 15, of Anna, who was the recipient earlier this month of a donor heart, has been released from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

His mother, Christa, posted at cotaforhaydenw.com, Monday morning, that Hayden had moved to the Ronald McDonald House near the hospital.

“He’s doing well,” she told the Sidney Daily News, Tuesday. Heart patients have to demonstrate that their bodies are not rejecting their new organs before the hospital releases them.

“Hayden’s rejection levels are low with his medication,” Christa said, “so they let him go.” After checking into the Ronald McDonald House, the first thing Hayden wanted was a meal from Frisch’s.

“He’s had nothing but hospital food for a long time,” Christa noted. Monday’s treat was a pork tenderloin sandwich and onion rings from the popular eatery. Hayden has no trouble eating solid food, but he still must thicken liquids to avoid aspirating while he’s swallowing them.

He will continue to visit the hospital for clinic visits on Wednesdays, but otherwise, he is free to do as much as he feels able to do. Tuesday, he and his parents walked two blocks from the Ronald McDonald House to the Cincinnati Zoo, spent an hour and a half walking around the zoo, and then walked back to their new home.

“We sat on a lot of benches. We’re still feeling our way, gauging his level of energy. We’ll take it day by day,” Christa said.

The two of them will probably be in the Ronald McDonald House for two to three months. Hayden’s father, Scott, and his brother and sister will visit on weekends. The patient must be within nine of miles of the hospital for several weeks following a transplant.

He has been working with a tutor since February, throughout his hospitalization, and will continue to do so. He plans to enter the sophomore class at Anna High School with his friends in the fall.

Friends can write to him in care of Ronald McDonald House Charities, 350 Erkenbrecher Ave., Room 26, Cincinnati, OH 45229. They can follow his progress at cotaforhaydenw.com. That’s also a website through which people can donate to the fund set up to help with the Weiskittel’s medical expenses. They’ve set a $50,000 goal and have about $24,000 still to raise.

Christa’s mother, Deb Christman, of Sidney, said that several fundraising events have been planned locally.

A garage sale will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., April 27, 28 and 29 at 12587 Sidney-Freyburg Road, Anna. All of the items for sale have been donated and 100 percent of the proceeds will be contributed to the Weiskittel fund.

Tupperware saleswoman Bonnie Alexander has set up a third-party online fundraiser for purchasers of the plastic kitchen goods. Buyers can go to www.twchick.com, click on Find a Fundraiser, then select Ohio and then Hayden’s name to have a portion of what they pay go to him.

Buffalo Wild Wings in Sidney will host a fundraising night May 10 from 5 to 8 p.m. Diners can tell their servers that they are there to support Hayden, and Buffalo Wild Wings will donate a portion of the purchase price of the meals.


By Patricia Ann Speelman


Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.