3-year-old waiting for heart transplant at MUSC plays in snow for first time

EJ and his mom Jazmine Walker (Source: MUSC Children's Hospital)
EJ and his mom Jazmine Walker (Source: MUSC Children's Hospital)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A 3-year-old boy, who is waiting for a heart transplant at MUSC Children's Hospital, received the okay from doctors to do what most children don't need permission to do, play in the snow.

Elliot Wright, known as EJ, has a personality that welcomes you into any room.

He makes fast friends with the people he meets with his energetic personality.

"When I was pregnant, I found out about his condition," said EJ's mom Jazmine Walker. "They said it was a possibility that he might not live his first few days of life."

She says back then she didn't think EJ would live to see today.

"He was born and diagnosed Sept. 14, 2014 with Hypoplastic left heart syndrome," Walker said. "The left side of his heart wasn't developed when he was born. He had his first open heart surgery at 5-days-old, second when he was 6-months-old."

EJ was set to have his third open-heart surgery September of last year around his birthday but his mom says he went into heart failure so doctors put him on a heart transplant list.

So now they wait.

They've been waiting on the list since July.

"It's hard. It's tough," Walker said."Don't give up at all. Your child needs you the most. I know he needs me the most."

Twenty-three and a half hours a day, every day of the week, EJ is hooked up to his medicine for his heart.

Last week, his 30 minute a-day break was spent doing something he's never done before.

"I played with snow!" EJ said.

MUSC Children's Hospital posted photos of EJ's first time in the snow.

The post has received nearly 2,000 shares and more than 5,000 likes.

He loves smiling for the camera and during the visit he asked if he could take a picture.

"Right now he is at the top of the list," Walker said."A heart can come in any day or it could take up to a few months or up to a year."

EJ and his mom live two hours away from the hospital, but they have been staying at MUSC for the last four months because it keeps EJ at the top of the list for a heart transplant.

EJ also has an older brother, and it's been difficult for the family to be apart during this time.

Medical expenses for the family have reached more than $10,000.

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