Peyton West, Teen Who Got Heart Transplant, Dies on First Day of School

August 18, 2017 Updated: August 18, 2017

A teen who got a heart transplant in Ohio died on the first day of school, according to media reports.

Peyton West, 13, collapsed and died on Thursday, Fox19 reported. He was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), a birth defect that’s caused when the left side of the heart doesn’t form properly.

As the Pray For Peyton Facebook page says, he began coughing and feeling tired before he was admitted to the hospital in July.

Goshen Schools sent a message to parents.

“Peyton’s courage and wonderful personality are well-known to the entire Goshen community, and his loss is deeply felt by all. We all loved Peyton and we are truly heartbroken with this loss,” the message reads.

On Thursday, he woke up at 6:30 a.m. and posed for a photo for his first day of class. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

But on the car ride to school, he remarked, “I don’t feel right.”

“Something’s wrong,” he later said, ABC15 reported.

“He was perfect last night,” Corey West said. “Perfect this morning. And then…it’s just precious. Life is precious.”

In May, the boy got a life-saving heart transplant after his heart failed, WKRC reported. His heart began to falter in December. 

“The last month and a half he went downhill quick and it’s hard to watch your son go through that,” said Peyton’s mother, Melissa West.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is a birth defect that affects normal blood flow through the heart. As the baby develops during pregnancy, the left side of the heart does not form correctly. Hypoplastic left heart syndrome is one type of congenital heart defect. Congenital means present at birth.

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome affects a number of structures on the left side of the heart that do not fully develop, for example:

  • The left ventricle is underdeveloped and too small.
  • The mitral valves is not formed or is very small.
  • The aortic valve is not formed or is very small.
  • The ascending portion of the aorta is underdeveloped or is too small.
  • Often, babies with hypoplastic left heart syndrome also have an atrial septal defect, which is a hole between the left and right upper chambers (atria) of the heart.

In a baby without a congenital heart defect, the right side of the heart pumps oxygen-poor blood from the heart to the lungs. The left side of the heart pumps oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body. When a baby is growing in a mother’s womb during pregnancy, there are two small openings between the left and right sides of the heart: the patent ductus arteriosus and the patent foramen ovale. Normally, these openings will close a few days after birth.