Peyton West’s Transplanted Heart Stops Beating


Peyton West’s First Day of School

Peyton West, 13-year-old student, was dropped off, by his older brother, for his first day as an eighth-grader. As he started to leave the car he said he was not feeling well. He then collapsed. His brother carried him to the office of the nurse, an ambulance was called, and he was taken to the hospital. Doctors worked on him for more than two hours in an effort to save his life.

Peyton Born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

According to chief officer of cardiac surgery at Columbia University Medical Center, Dr. Emile Bacha, “Basically, you’re born missing the left side of the heart. Instead of having two ventricles you only have one ventricle.” Ventricles are the two chambers in the heart that pump blood throughout the body. Bacha said three open-heart surgeries are required to allow the right ventricle to normally function. Peyton had his third surgery at the age of five. According to his father, Corey West, he nearly died from that surgery. Peyton sustained brain damage. He had to relearn how to walk and talk, but, through the years, he kept up his spirits.

Last January, doctors told his parents that his heart was failing and that he was “teetering on the edge.” He needed a heart transplant. A heart became available on March 9. Peyton went in for the transplant surgery that afternoon. According to his father he began to feel better over the next few months.

Bacha said the rapidity of his demise is surprising. It is not known what caused his death but it is possible his body was rejecting the new organ; or a number of other things may have occurred like a strange infection, according to Bacha. An autopsy was performed. Peyton’s parents are hoping the results will help them to better understand his sudden death. The results are pending. The parents agreed to donate his party parts in hopes of saving someone else’s life.

A visitation for the boy is scheduled for Tuesday at Goshen High School. His funeral is scheduled for Wednesday. It will be held at Eastside Christian Church in Millford, Ohio.