Three months after an unprecedented domino heart valve transplant in infants that helped save the lives of two babies at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, Mia Skaats, now 11 months old, and Brooklyn Civil, 5 months old, visited the Today show as their parents recounted the moments leading up to the pioneering procedure.
A domino transplant happens when one patient receives an organ transplant and, in turn, donates a healthy organ or healthy parts of an organ to another patient, becoming both a recipient and a live donor.
In a conversation with Today show co-hosts Sheinelle Jones and Craig Melvin, parents Nicole and James Skaats recalled the fateful day they received news that Mia was going to get a new heart. Little did Samantha and Andre Civil know, that call would also change the life of their infant daughter, Brooklyn.
“There was no hesitation at all. We had waited so long for that gift, so to be able to give to somebody else, it made the moment that much more special,” Nicole said of their decision to donate Mia’s heart valves to Brooklyn.
“I think about what the Skaats did for us, they got such incredible news and they were able to think of somebody else in that moment,” Samantha said.
The two babies, who are both recovering well, their families said, were clad in bows and ruffled outfits as Mia babbled throughout the televised segment.
Mia, who had a form of cardiomyopathy that causes a thickening and weakening of the heart muscle, received a full heart transplant, which then made it possible for the healthy valves from her old heart to be placed into Brooklyn’s heart through a partial heart transplant.
Brooklyn had been diagnosed with truncus arteriosus, a rare condition in which her heart never developed a pulmonary valve and aortic valve, the two valves needed to pump blood out from the heart. Instead, she was born with a single outflow valve, known as a truncal valve, and a hole between the two pumping chambers of her heart.