Ask any mother and she’ll tell you, there’s nothing you wouldn’t do for your child.
So when baby Fae was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a birth defect that inhibits regular blood flow throughout the heart, her mother was told while there was nothing doctors could do to save her and she had three options in which to let her die; She could leave her at Loma Linda and let her die; she could take her to Barstow Hospital and let her die there; or she could take her home to die.
This story is actually from 1984, at a time when Fae’s mother, Teresa Beauclair chose to remain anonymous. The story is back in the spotlight due to the creation of a documentary, primarily told from the perspective of baby Fae’s mother, Teresa.
The documentary is called Stephanie’s Heart: The Story Of Baby Fae, and needed to be told because of the unique direction in which the story went after Fae’s mother was told by doctor’s that there was nothing they could do for her.
After deciding to spend Fae’s remaining time together at home, Teresa receieved a phone call that was extraordinary to say the least.
Loma Linda University Medical Center contacted Teresa to inform her of an experimental procedure that could have the potential to save her baby’s life. They wanted to implant baby Fae with a baboon’s heart.
Baby Fae became the first infant to undergo a primate-to-human transplant and at the time it sparked quite a bit of controversy.
On October 26, 1984, the world watched in awe as the heart of a baboon was successfully transplanted into Baby Fae, giving her what seemed a healthy heart that would grow and mature as she did.
Following the surgery, Baby Fae thrived. However, this only lasted for a few weeks. To the world’s great sadness, Baby Fae’s body gradually began to shut down and she eventually passed away on November 16, 1984.
Baby Fae will always be remembered as a brave little girl that was loved and admired and she is still missed by her family.
Images via YouTube