CHICAGO - It was a Christmas miracle for three local families.
Lurie Children’s Hospital performed three heart transplants in just four days. The youngest patient was just 6 months old.
One of the surgeons performing the procedures took part in Lurie's first heart transplant, all the way back in 1988.
“Everything happens for a reason and for these families, it really is a Christmas blessing,” said Dr. Philip Thrush.
At 9 years old, Olivia Donnelly of Naperville was born with a rare heart condition. She received a new heart on Tuesday.
“I felt terrible that she was scared. But I was 100-percent positive she would be up and sassing us in no time. And she is,” said Olivia’s mother Lisa.
Six-month-old Arya Harris was born with cardiomyopathy. Her heart miracle was implanted Thursday morning.
On Friday, doctors performed a third heart transplant on yet another patient.
"Our outcomes here are phenomenal our one month and one year survivals are 100 percent so I couldn't ask for anything better than that,” said Dr. Thrush.
Lurie Children's Hospital has one of the top heart programs in the country. This year, Lurie doctors performed 34 heart transplants, which hospital officials say is likely the most performed at a single hospital in the country.
"In talking with other transplant families, it is the waiting game that really wears on you. You have one parent here at the hospital with your child and you have the other parent potentially at home with the other kids and trying to do the shuffle back and forth,” Lisa said.
Now the wait is finally over for three families with the best gift in the world.
The heart transplant patients will be in the hospital recovering for about two weeks. The goal is to get them home as soon as possible.