Reporters from Fox News recently interviewed the parents of five-month-old Kaleb Waddleton, who has been awaiting a heart transplant since September of this year. Baby Kaleb was diagnosed with a heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy. “His heart is not squeezing,” Kaleb’s mother, Marissa Waddleton, told Fox News.
Kale Waddleton, Kaleb’s father, told reporters, “Prayers are going to get him home.” Since his diagnosis, Kaleb has been treated at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and was, until recently, on an organ transplant waitlist.
“Best personality you’ll ever meet,” Mr. Waddleton said in admiration of his son. “He’s got the nurses in the palms of his hands.” Kale and Marissa Waddleton noted to reporters that they’ve been looking forward to spending time with their son on his first Christmas.
After months of anxious waiting, the family received the Christmas gift they’ve been hoping for: a new heart for their little boy. On the family’s Facebook page, named “Prayers for Kaleb,” Kaleb’s mother writes, “24 hours+ post transplant! Kaleb is doing awesome!” She continues, “I am so proud of him! Thank you all for [your] continuous prayers!”
Heart health is often taken for granted in America, but heart disease remains a troubling epidemic. Heart disease is still the number one killer in the U.S., causing over 600,000 deaths per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Five-month-old Kaleb Waddleton did not get a choice — he was diagnosed with a very severe heart condition shortly after birth. However, the vast majority of American adults have the choice to take a stand against heart disease. Making healthy lifestyle choices are key to preventing heart disease and many other chronic diseases.
Eating a heart healthy, nutritious diet — like the Mediterranean diet — and scheduling plenty of exercise into your daily routine are two bounding leaps in the right direction for proper heart health, according to the American Heart Association.
If it’s a bit challenging to steer your heart health in the right direction, just think about those who do not have a choice, like Kaleb. You can check up on Kaleb’s progress at his GoFundMe account, or send him a few Christmas prayers for a speedy recovery via the family’s Facebook page. We at The Alternative Daily wish little Kaleb and his family a happy and healthy holiday season.
How will you improve your heart health in 2016?
Stephen Seifert is a writer, professor, adventurer and a health & fitness guru. His flair for travel and outdoor adventure allows him to enjoy culture and traditions different than his own. A healthy diet, routine fitness and constant mental development is the cornerstone to Stephen’s life.