BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — Just over a month ago, we brought you the story of a Brookings 8-year-old who is in need of a new heart and is now at a Chicago hospital waiting for a transplant.
Camden Madsen was born with a heart defect and had his first open-heart surgery when he was only six days old. He has now had over 20 total surgeries.
Camden has been staying full-time in a Chicago hospital since mid-February while waiting on the transplant list. He had another surgery last week.
“To get a VAD, which is like a ventricle assist device, to kind of bridge his heart until he gets a transplant. And that went well. He says he’s feeling the best he’s ever felt,” Stacee said.
Stacee says there’s a new technology for the VAD, and that Camden was the first kid in Illinois to get it.
“They’re waiting until they get 40 kids, and then it’ll be FDA approved. Camden is number 14 in the United States to get it, so that it was a pretty big deal. They were really hoping he would get it,” Stacee said.
“He said he’s felt he’s never felt this good. Best he’s ever felt, which is encouraging to hear, and it’s exciting to see him like that,” Mike said.
Balancing time between here and Chicago has been challenging for the whole family.
“My mom has been staying with Camden while we’re not there with him. So he’s always got somebody there with him. And he gets packages every day,” Mike said.
“He gets so much mail from everybody and he loves that. And he Facetimes us all the time just to see what we’re up to and tell us what he’s doing,” Stacee said.
Giving the family hope as they wait for the transplant.
If you’d like to help the family, there is a GoFundMe and an upcoming fundraiser.