A two-year-old Bakersfield child is enjoying a new life after a heart transplant last September.
Adonis Watts was diagnosed with Cardiomyopathy in January, a deadly defect where the heart muscle is enlarged and doesn’t work properly.
A condition that put his life in jeopardy for most of the year.
"I didn't think I was going to plan his birthday this year and I did,” said Adonis’ mom Malachi Richardson.
But among the toys in Richardson’s living room are the Chuck E. Cheese birthday decorations from last October.
Reminders of how special Adonis’ second birthday was.
"His left ventricle to his heart didn't fully develop and his heart was enlarged,” Richardson said.
And that meant a heart transplant was needed if he was going to survive.
In March he was admitted to the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
"He had a lot of respiratory symptoms, he had trouble eating and breathing at the same time, and so he was presenting like a child who had either asthma or pneumonia,” said Dr. Cynthia Herrington, who performed Adonis’ heart transplant.
And the wait for a heart that would save Adonis’ life began.
On September 9, after nearly six months of waiting, Malachi got the call she was hoping for.
"I was speechless. I didn't know what to say. I cried, I called my mom and I was like you have to pack your bags and she was hysterical,” Richardson said.
A gift, doctors say was possible because of the generosity of one family at a time of tragedy.
"Some amazingly generous family in the midst of their own nightmare or crisis is going to see clear to say I think our child should be an organ donor. It's an amazing thing,” Dr. Herrington said.
Adonis’ family doesn’t know anything about the donor, that’s hospital policy.
But they do know it’s a gift that gave a child another chance at life.
And by February, Richardson hopes Adonis will be healthy enough for school.
For more information about organ donation, you can go to www.donatelifecalifornia.org