BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — An 8-year-old boy in Brookings is in need of a new heart and has been approved to be on a transplant list at a hospital in Chicago.
Camden Madsen is described by family as a very playful and funny boy.
He was born with a heart defect and had his first open heart surgery when he was only six days old, but that was only the beginning.
“Just due to complications, he has had 21 surgeries total and six open-heart surgeries. His most recent one was in July. They kind of thought that would fix things, buy more time and it didn’t work out. He has a couple mechanical valves, and his heart has just been failing, so he needs a transplant now,” Camden’s mom Stacee Madsen said.
Camden’s parents say he was turned down from a couple different hospitals because of being too high risk, but he has now been approved for a transplant list at a Chicago hospital. Doctors told them to plan on being there for about a year.
“They’ll get him on medication while he’s there to help with the heart failure and do some things to try and bring down the antibodies and then just try and get him stronger while he’s waiting,” Stacee said.
Camden has been in the hospital in Minneapolis for four of the last seven months, and a transplant became their only option.
“Right now, he’s on over a dozen medications a day, getting injections, so this seems like a pretty good tradeoff. He’s got a pacemaker and all that, so he would lose those things,” Stacee said.
It’s been a long and tough journey for this family.
“He has to self-limit. He can’t do everything he wants to do, and it’s hard sometimes when he asks why he can’t do certain things or if he wants to sign up for something and we have to tell him no, he can’t. And he’ll say I just wish I was a regular kid,” Stacee said.
“It’s tough watching him not be able to the regular things that other people do that he sees his siblings do,” Camden’s dad Mike Madsen said.
There has been a GoFundMe set up for the family. They say the support and help from the community has been fantastic.
“The community has been amazing for us and family and friends and co-workers and neighbors, the school. Everything from mowing yards, shoveling the driveway,” Mike said.
The Madsens will go to Chicago on February 15th.
If you would like to help, you can find the GoFundMe here.