Colby’s Heart Recipient - Brayden’s Story


Brayden was born in 1993 and although he was blind in one eye he seemed otherwise healthy. However after a couple of months, his parents realized that he was not gaining weight. It was then determined that he had Congenital Heart Disease and had two holes in his heart that would require surgery. The surgery was performed, but did not help. Five months after Brayden was born, his parents were told that his main chance for survival would be a heart transplant.

His father, Joe, recalls that the doctors forewarned them that there was a big chance that Brayden would not survive the wait for the heart, which could be anywhere from 3 to 5 months. However, five weeks later the wait was over and Brayden received his new heart. Laura, Brayden’s mother, recalls that she could not believe the immediate change in Brayden, “it was beautiful to see how red his lips and finger tips were after the transplant, all because of one family’s choice to make the unselfish decision to donate their son’s organs.”

"The Cassanis first came into our lives on June 8, 1993 and because of that our son is now a healthy and happy [young adult] who has had wonderful success with his heart."

Fast forward to 2023 and Brayden is now 30 years old and has shown absolutely no sign of rejection of Colby's heart. He continues to require only one immunosuppressant drug as he and Colby were a near identical match. Personally, Brayden is thriving as a young adult where he has fulfilled his long time passion to become a pastry chef. He and the Cassani's continue to get together whenever their paths cross and it is always a memorable reunion.

Brayden and John 2019  Brayden and Starla 2019

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