A two-year-old girl, who has never hugged her sick baby brother, has been given an imitation ‘baby Henry’ doll, while the real Henry undergoes a life-changing heart transplant.
Little Nora Dolan had been desperate to hug her sibling since his complicated birth in May, but two serious heart conditions have delayed that hug indefinitely.
Baby Henry has spent his entire life in hospital but after an anxious wait for a donor heart, he was rushed into surgery last month.
Parents Mollie and Sam have recorded their son’s "rough" journey and posted photos of the six-hour operation to their Facebook page Hope for Henry.
An incredible video has showed Henry’s new heart beat for the first time, as doctors in the Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota, worked tirelessly to reconnect vessels in the tiny heart.
While Henry recovers, Nora refuses to put down the specially made doll, cradling, cuddling, kissing and speaking to her ‘baby Henry’. Like the real thing, her doll comes with tubes attached to its nose and mouth, even sporting a scar over its heart.
“She walks around the house calling it her ‘baby Henry’. When she can't find it, she says, 'Where'd my baby Henry go?' It's so cute,” Mollie said.
“As far as coping goes, she doesn't fully understand things yet, but she knows baby Henry is sick and that he's in the hospital getting better.
“The first thing she says to me on the phone is, ‘You at the hospital with baby Henry mom, can I see him? I be quiet, mom'. It's the cutest thing ever."
Mrs Dolan updated Henry's followers following the complicated surgery, saying the recovery process had been “rough”.
“He is retaining a lot of fluid which is normal post op,” she wrote.
“The staff is busy making changes by the minute, to better support him. We were told to remember, he was really sick going into the operation, so of course he is going to be pretty sick afterwards too.”
While news of a donor heart was exciting news for Mrs Dolan, she said it was a bittersweet moment.
"I have no words. Please be praying for us and the donor family as we know they are going through unimaginable grief. How amazing that they have chosen to give life." she said.
A Go Fund Me page has been started for Henry, Mollie and Sam to help cover medical expenses.