CommunityGift of Hope


Utah family thanks strangers for child’s Gift of Hope that saved daughter’s life

Posted at 9:45 PM, Mar 26, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-26 23:46:35-04

A Utah girl who was diagnosed with a heart defect before she was born is living a full life today because of a stranger's Gift of Hope.

When Hillary Thompson was 29 weeks pregnant, she learned her little girl's heart wasn't working and her baby would need an operation.

Baby Shiloh's left ventricle was shutting down.  

After three surgeries in all, baby Shiloh went into heart failure and was put on the transplant list.

"We were desperately hoping that we would get her home," Thompson said. "We spent Halloween, Christmas, New Years and she suffered seemingly endless complications from the second surgery as well. I didn't take her home until she was six months old in May of 2012."

After 82 long days waiting for a donor, a life-saving call came. 

It was even more special because it was on the Thompson's wedding anniversary.

"I was relieved but thinking of the family who donated Shiloh's heart," Thompson said. "My mind was not with Shiloh, it was with the mother who, somewhere out there in the world, had decided to donate her child's organs so my child could live."

At 5 p.m. that day Shiloh went into surgery and by midnight her new heart was beating.

Thompson found out the donor was a young boy.

"I start every morning say 'thank you' and every night I whisper 'good night' to that little boy's heart in her chest," Thompson said. "You know, it's just amazing."

More: Click here to become an organ donor and get more information