By Mike Baird | Corpus Christi Caller-Times
Taylor has been hospitalized three times in the past two weeks, because the first donor heart he received at age 4 repeatedly has filled with fluid, restricting his breathing. As doctors remove the fluid, it helps his discomfort, but Taylor has been experiencing episodes where his heart also races and then slows way down, his mother said.
Taylor was diagnosed in 1999 with restrictive cardiomyopathy caused by viral pneumonia, which damaged his own heart beyond repair.
The first heart transplant began a childhood regimented with anti-rejection drugs, steroids, blood pressure medication and aspirin three times a day.
He returned to Houston to be near Texas Children's Hospital after that heart began failing from restricted blood flow, limiting oxygen, and from fistulas that allow blood to seep between chambers.
"We're not sure what doctors are going to do past this point," Taylor's mother, Tamara Berry, said Saturday. "They have Taylor on new medicine to help the heart function that seems to be helping him stay comfortable."
She said he was doing better Saturday, but will remain in the hospital at least until Monday.
Late last month, doctors gave Taylor permission to attend his Kaffie Middle School eighth grade prom.
"He was so happy to be with many who have seen him through one of the biggest challenges in his life," his mother wrote on Taylor's CaringBridge online page. "He was a prince for a night."
A week later, on May 22, Taylor's sister Aubrey and her best friend Allison Bartkowiak hosted a fashion show to help raise awareness for organ donation and money for Taylor's medical fund.
Taylor's physical condition has weakened in the past months, and doctors recently identified specific antigens they must avoid in a new donor heart. Taylor's body has built antibodies against the now-failing donor heart's existing antigens. Doctors turned down at least one heart because of the risk of antigen conflict.
His family maintains great religious faith.
"The positive side is that we will be moving up on the list to a 1B status, which will cut down on the wait," Tamara Berry wrote on CaringBridge. "God is preparing our path."