Poplar Bluff boy recovering after Christmas day heart transplant
ST. LOUIS (KFVS) - A Christmas Miracle gives one Poplar Bluff, Missouri boy a second chance at life.
The last time we spoke with Liam Gregory's family was the same day he got a new heart.
The family got word on Christmas Eve that a heart was en route to the hospital for the boy; and on Christmas morning, Liam underwent a heart transplant.
Just a few months before, Laramy and Jessica Gregory thought their then one-year-old son had only caught a simple cold.
They found out later he had an enlarged heart.
"It's been a slow road to recovery, but he's getting better every day," said his mother, Jessica Gregory.
His parents Jessica and Laramy Gregory never imagined his heart would arrive on Christmas Day.
"I honestly was in shock for the first probably hour it was a reality that he was going to be getting a heart – for Christmas," Jessica Gregory said.
Liam Gregory's parents say after successful heart transplant surgery, their son's recovery has been an uphill battle.
"That first night was the worst. He was not doing good at all," said Laramy Gregory. "He made it through it like he always does, he's superman."
Now more than a month later, things are slowly moving in the right direction.
He plays in the halls with his big brother Riley which is one of his favorite things.
"He doesn't have to be hooked up to all the machines for just a little bit, and he thinks he's just being a normal boy driving a little car," said Jessica Gregory.
Liam has a comprehensive therapy program at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital.
Communication is the hardest part, because Liam will have to learn how to speak and walk again.
"He knows he could do it before and now he can't and he doesn't understand why he can't," Jessica Gregory said.
He will also have to wear a mask for the first year whenever he goes outside.
The Gregorys say it won't be easy, but Jessica said they are lucky.
"I know that somebody had to lose a child in order to give me the gift of Liam getting to survive and so – Christmas is always going to be my favorite holiday and their worst, and so I really want to thank them. I don't know who they are, but I hope that they can see this someday and know that I appreciate them from the bottom of my heart."
Liam's surgeries leave behind scars he'll have forever, but his dad doesn't want him to feel different, so he got a tattoo to match.
"Just a scar [tattoo] so he's not the only one that has one, and so, we'll have two other boys who won't have scars, hopefully, and I just don't want him to feel left out," Laramy Gregory said.
Two other boys, which means Jessica is having another baby.
Jessica's doctor said she could give birth at any time. She is anxious for the family to be back home in Poplar Bluff together.
"I honestly forget some of the stuff in our house, what it looks like, and to take him home and to just be like a real family is going to be the best day of my life I think," Jessica Gregory said.
Even though the Gregory's don't know the family who helped save their son, they feel like they're getting to know them through Liam.
"We like to think that a little bit of their child lives on in Liam. He's actually more lovable," Jessica Gregory said. "He grips me so tight, and he started to pat my back when he hugs me, and I feel like that's, just, it's new, it's different, I love it."
The Gregorys are hoping he can be released from the hospital to outpatient care in the next few weeks.
Liam's family started a Facebook page to keep people updated on Liam's condition.
His dad encourages people to leave "Get Well" video messages. Liam enjoys watching them on his parents' phones.
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