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    The Need

    Jonah Kern is a happy and funny 6yr old from Buffalo who has been in UPMC Children’s Hospital since December 2022. He was born with a heart condition which required a minor surgery at one month old and open heart valve surgery at 5 months old. Since then he had been status quo and living a healthy life. However, on Christmas Day 2022 he went into cardiac arrest. Jonah spent several days at Children’s Hospital in Buffalo and was then taken by Mercy Flight to Pittsburgh. In Pittsburgh he underwent a heart transplant evaluation which resulted in him being listed as 1A priority status in January 2023. To keep him stable Jonah was placed on a Berlin heart which allowed him to remain active until a heart became available.

    He was doing well and was participating in activities like school and therapies. Finally, on June 17th his family received a call that they had a donor available for him, and on June 18th he underwent his transplant. Initial recovery has been great with him moving out of ICU less then two days post op. However, there is still a long road to recovery and all transplant follow up visits and medication management will be done exclusively in Pittsburgh. This has been a long and challenging journey for Jonah but he is looking forward to coming home and doing activities that his old heart didn’t allow him to do. His family will be eternally grateful for the donor family that gave Jonah a second chance at a normal life.

    Please consider a shirt purchase or a donation to his online fundraiser.