Kansas City,
09:49 AM

KCTV 5: Kansas baby waits for a new heart at Children's Mercy

Hospital's heart transplant team has performed 12 transplants in 3 years

by Joe Chiodo

February is Heart Health Month, and it also marks three years since Children’s Mercy performed their first heart transplant.

Right now, seven children they treat are in need of a new heart.

Before 2015, if a baby in the Kansas City area was in need of a heart, the family would have to go to either St. Louis, Denver or Dallas. One family from Manhattan, KS is sharing their story to show the importance of the doctors work and raise awareness about how you can help.

When Colby was born in September, Cassie Schafer and her husband, Shad Schafer, headed home a happy family of four.

“We were home for close to a week before we noticed Colby got sick his temperature was really low. Mom checked it on a whim,” Shad Schafer said.

An 89-degree temperature and an emergency plane ride from Manhattan to Children’s Mercy is where their unexpected five-month journey began. The couple said the journey has taught them more about their little boy's heart than they ever thought they’d know.


Myocarditis is Colby’s disease. It’s is a long and tough road.

“That is when certain viruses can attack muscle of the heart and make it hard for it to pump,” said Dr. Aliessa Barnes. “I was recruited here to Children's Mercy to start the heart transplant program so that this hospital could offer that amazing service to the people of this area."


Read and view the full story via KCTV 5.

Learn about the services offered by the Ward Family Heart Center at Children's Mercy.

Learn more about the heart transplant program at Children's Mercy.