Originally created 11/05/99

Transplant recipient to undergo lung surgery



An 8-year-old Augusta boy who received a heart transplant in Boston suffered a seizure Thursday and will undergo a procedure this morning that may clear an obstruction in his lungs.

At first, doctors at Boston Children's Hospital thought Daniel Moretz had suffered a stroke.

"He was disoriented, and he couldn't move his left side," said his mother, Julie. Fortunately, tests revealed no bleeding in the brain. Doctors concluded Daniel was reacting to the anti-rejection drug, which he has been taking since before receiving his new heart Saturday. Doctors have started him on a different drug.

Still suffering the effects, Daniel has told his parents, "I want to be free. I want to go home."

He also has a clot that has collapsed his left lung. Doctors plan to insert a thin flexible camera on a wire into his lung to examine and potentially clear the obstruction.

Meanwhile, the family has heard from a lot of supporters, including Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, who met the family last year. The Gores sent a teddy bear, Mrs. Moretz said.

"Say lots of prayers," Mrs. Moretz asked of the family's friends in Augusta. "We believe in the power of prayer."

Reach Tom Corwin at (706) 823-3213.

Donations for Daniel

To make a tax-deductible contribution to defer Daniel's medical expenses though the Children's Organ Transplant Association, send contributions to: COTA for Daniel, c/o Jan Wilson, SunTrust Bank of Augusta, P.O. Box 927, Augusta, GA 30903.