LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Norton Children’s Hospital celebrated a major milestone as the hospital’s 100th pediatric heart transplant patient is going home. 

What You Need To Know

  • Norton Children's Hospital 100th pediatric heart transplant patient went home this week 

  • Thomas Norris, the patient, waited nearly a year for a new heart

  • As he left the hospital, the Louisville City soccer tame and his doctors cheered on the Norris Family

  • For the first time in over 100 days the whole Norris family can spend the night at home

Thomas Norris, age 9, was born with an enlarged heart. Last year, his condition worsened, and he needed a heart transplant.

“It was probably towards the end of his spring soccer season last year. He had a lot of labored breathing, which was our clue when he was a baby that something was going on. So, we had been in a couple different times through the e.r. We’d had a couple of short stays,” said Catherine Norris, Thomas’ mother. 

He was eventually admitted to the hospital and added to the transplant waiting list. Months later, his mom got a call that there was a transplant available.

“It’s great because we were getting to a point where we’re like, okay, is this ever going to happen where we were getting really close to that one year mark I think we were just excited that it was finally here,” said Catherine. 

Just over two weeks ago, doctors at Norton Children’s Hospital gave Thomas a new heart.

“I’m hoping we can get back into sports, soccer, see if there’s anything else he wants to try, but we’ll wait until doctors give the all clear,” said Catherine Norris. 

On Tuesday, Thomas went home for the first time in over a 100 days. His family, doctors and the Louisville City soccer team — Thomas’s favorite team — cheered him on as he left.

This was Nortons Children’s 100th pediatric heart transplant since 1986. One of his doctors was a part of about 20 of those procedures.

“I think it’s more than just about Thomas. Obviously, Thomas is the 100th heart transplant that we’ve done for this program, but I think it’s more about kind of the evolution of the program and continuing to grow and continue to be able to kind of take care of kids in this area,” said Sarah Wilkens, pediatric transplant cardiologist at Norton Children’s. 

For the first time in a long time, the family of four can all spend the night at home.

“We’re all going to have dinner tonight,” said Catherine, at the end of a big day for the Norris family and Norton Children’s.