A year ago, On the Pulse shared the harrowing story of 8-month-old Lincoln Seay. Lincoln was born with heterotaxy syndrome, a severe birth defect that caused his heart to develop on the opposite side of his body. In order to survive, he needed a heart transplant.

In November of last year, Lincoln was placed on the transplant list, but as each day passed, his condition continued to worsen and doctors questioned if he would make it to transplant.

“We had a list of patients and he was the one we were most concerned about,” said Dr. Michael McMullan, surgical director of heart transplantation at Seattle Children’s.

After 89 days, his family received a call. They had a match. A heart arrived just in time to save Lincoln.

“We were going to do everything we could to keep him alive,” said McMullan. “He’s supposed to live.”

Today, the family is celebrating Lincoln’s one year “heartiversary.”

“We’ve had a pretty bumpy road, but the team at Seattle Children’s has been amazing to us,” said Mindy Seay, Lincoln’s mother. “There were points where it was touch and go, but today he’s happy and meeting his milestones.”

Giving thanks to the family that gave Lincoln a second chance

Along with Lincoln’s “heartiversary,” April also happens to mark Donate Life Month. In reflecting on how thankful Seay is to have Lincoln in her life, she also reflects on what organ donation means to her family.

“This month means more to me now than I could have ever imagined,” said Seay. “We’ve lived it. Without organ donation, we wouldn’t have Lincoln.”

For the Seay family, April is both a month to celebrate and a time to remember the family that gave Lincoln a second chance.

“We’ve gotten to watch Lincoln grow up,” said Seay. “We know that a family didn’t get that opportunity for their child. It weighs heavy on my heart. In the midst of their grief, they choose to give life. It’s extremely selfless and gracious.”

To honor Lincoln’s journey, the Seay family made the below video to celebrate Lincoln’s first year post-transplant.

#WarriorLincoln from Heaven Brock with Twinkle Art Photography on Vimeo.

“After Lincoln’s transplant, I was brought to a place of raw gratitude,” said Seay. “There are no words to express the gratitude we feel for the family who lost their loved one. Thank you for choosing to save someone else’s life at a time of such grief.”

Although Lincoln still needs to travel to Seattle Children’s for some follow-up care, he’s doing great and his family is amazed by how far he has come.

“Lincoln is the king of his world and he knows it,” said Seay. “We just love him so much.”