‘Just thankful he’s here’

Th Durango Herald | Ann Butler

Liam Maddox plays with his dad, Paul Maddox’s, phone on Wednesday at their home in Edgemont Ranch. Liam will turn 2 on Nov. 1. Liam’s mom, Jaqueline “Jaci” Maddox, said since his heart transplant, when he was 5 months old, they have been taking one day at a time.

Liam Maddox, 21 months, is a lively, engaged toddler, checking out his dad’s cellphone, throwing a ball for his family’s Labrador retriever Desmond and trying to get his basketball in the mini-hoop.

But for his parents, Paul, 25, and Jaqueline “Jaci” Maddox, 22, he’s a walking miracle.

Their journey started when Liam came down with a cold in March 2014. Babies get colds all the time, don’t they?

But for Liam, 5 months old at the time, it turned out to be much more serious.

“We were in Alaska, and we figured it was just from flying,” his mother said. “But he was stuffed up and not getting better. We were turned away from the hospital three times, and two days later, when they finally admitted him, the doctors said he was one of the sickest babies they’d ever seen.”

The diagnosis was dilated cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle that keeps it from pumping as much blood as the body needs. Continue reading