Baby Silas celebrates 1st birthday after heart transplant

Baby Silas celebrates 1st birthday after heart transplant

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Silas Huffman, a Henry County boy whose struggle with heart failure captured the attention of viewers across the country, will turn one April 29th. FOX Medical Team reporter Beth Galvin has followed Silas’ journey for months. She recently sat down with his parents to talk about this huge milestone for Silas.

It still sometimes feels like a dream to Amanda and Chris Huffman: having Bailey, Hannah, and Silas, sick for so long, all right here, at home. Amanda says, “That makes my day ever day, just to see them all together playing."

Chris Huffman, the bass player for the Christian band Casting Crowns, says he looks forward to coming home to Silas and the girls. He says, “All I do is just smile when I see that boy. And he smiles right back,"

And that's the thing about Silas Huffman, he smiles, in photo, after photo, after photo.

He was smiling August 29th, 2013, when - at four months - Amanda took him to the pediatrician, after noticing he was breathing hard.

Within hours he was being airlifted from Stockbridge to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston.

Diagnosed with a dilated cardiomyopathy, a swollen, failing heart, Silas smiled through more than 100 days

in the hospital, when - more than once - it looked like the Huffmans might lose him.

Looking back on that scary time, Amanda says, “I had faith before. But I've never really been tested on my faith: Do I believe what I say? God was the only thing I had, and he pulled us through it, and even if the outcome had been different, He still would have been there."

And FOX 5 viewers were there, too. Thousands of them posted prayers and messages of support for Silas - on the FOX 5 Atlanta Facebook page. Some of those leaving comments were transplant parents, who understand the pain the Huffmans were feeling. Back in October, Amanda was torn. She told us, “I’m I'm praying for a heart for Silas, and then on the other hand, I know there is a family that is going to have to lose their child. So, as a mom, how do you pray? How do you pray for that? "

When a heart finally came through December 8th, 2014,, the Huffmans kissed their sleeping baby goodbye outside the OR doors, and sent up a prayer for the family choosing life in loss.

Now, it’s been almost five months. Amanda says, “I think now the hardest part is just dealing with the new normal.”

Silas is working to come back from a stroke he suffered shortly after his surgery. It’s been a challenge to get him to eat enough to remove his feeding tube, and to sleep through the night.

But then Amanda will touch his chest, and feel another child's heart, beating for her baby. She says, “It's just always, you're always remembering. What somebody had to give up for Silas to live. And I don't think you can ever put into words, that they've given my child life. And lost theirs.”

Casting Crowns is now back on the road, with a new album, “Thrive,” dedicated to SIlas.

Every time they perform, Chris says fans ask about Silas. He says, “Just the outpouring of love people have shown our family, especially for that little boy, it's overwhelming. But it's a huge blessing."

That's what this first birthday feels like: the biggest blessing of all. Huffman says, “It's an amazing thing."

Beth Galvin has been following Silas’ journey every step of the way. To see photos she took at his first birthday party Sunday, visit her Facebook page, Beth Galvin FOX 5.

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