By Regina Smith
One local family has a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. A local baby is finally coming home from the hospital a mere nine months and four days after he was born with a rare heart defect.
Liam Lyon returned to Cameron Tuesday afternoon just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.
William Elijah Lyon, or Liam as he is affectionately known, was born on Feb. 18 to Whitney and Brody Lyon. He arrived five weeks early but he weighed more than six pounds. At first the family was not aware that anything was wrong with their brand new bundle of joy. They thought he was a big baby because Whitney had gestational diabetes. Shortly after he was born Liam was diagnosed by doctors at St. Edwards Mercy Medical Center with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which meant that he had two chambers and one ventricle in his heart, versus four chambers and two ventricles. The baby was flown to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa where his parents were told he was going to need a transplant and would need to be transferred to Arkansas Childrenâ€™s Hospital in Little Rock.
Liam underwent four major open heart surgeries before he was even four months old. Each designed to help his failing heart work better. Although there were short periods of success, each one failed.
On July 19 the baby was placed on the transplant list for the second time but the Lyons were told it may be very difficult to find a heart for such a young infant.
The family received the call that a heart for Liam had been found at 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 24.
â€śI felt like I was dreaming,â€ť Whitney said at the time.
There have been a few bumps in the road since his surgery but the family says the love and support of all their friends and family has gotten them through it. However, it was hard for Whitney to continue to stay so far from home while Brody worked here in Oklahoma through the week and traveled to Little Rock on the weekends. Last week it was decided that even though Liam still had a while to go before he could go home. Doctors felt he was doing well enough to be transfered back to Tulsa to continue his in patient care. This allowed the family to be closer to home for the last part of his stay. Although doctors had warned the family that Liam's inpatient stay in Tulsa would take some time, Liam had other plans. He got this close to home and apparently decided he was ready to go the rest of the way.
He was released from the hospital shortly before 3 p.m. on Tuesday to return to Cameron. Whitney said she can't say enough about all of the things that this tiny little guy has taught her in his short life about having faith and never giving up. She said the amount of people who have prayed for their family and sent words of encouragement has been amazing.
"I can't say thank you enough for everything that everyone has done for us," Whitney said.
Although Liam is home the family still has to be very careful about his contact with others. Whitney said they will not be having any visitors at their home until cold and flu season is over so they can make sure Liam's immune system is strong. After nine months away from home they are excited and nervous and the family said they will continue to update all of Liam's supporters through his facebook page so everyone can follow his progress and share in their job.
You can follow Liamâ€™s story on Facebook by typing in I love Liam Lyon.