Landen Lion was born in heart failure due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Doctors would piece together the complex story nine weeks later and deliver the news: the baby carried the rare LEOPARD syndrome gene. That meant only one thing: he desperately needed a new heart in order to live. Hoping to call on the strength that his family would need to get through this battle, they bought a small stuffed lion in the hospital gift store that day. The lion symbolized personal courage and strength. They waited four weeks for a life-saving heart while their tiny baby grew sicker. On Mother’s Day, 2010, the call came that the doctors had a heart for baby Landen. The surgeon carried the cooler holding a lifesaving heart in one hand, and in the other, an unusual gift for Landen’s family from the donor: a small stuffed lamb.
At merely five months old, Claire was with her family when they were broadsided in a tragic car accident. Her mother was in a coma, and she and her five-year-old brother were critically injured. Her father, who had been at work that day, went from hospital bed to hospital bed, juggling his unraveling life. That night, as he faced his son’s diagnosis of brain death, his heart was softened to organ donation. The next morning he would face the same nightmare with his baby daughter. She, too, was brain dead. The only choice left for Claire’s father was whether or not to create something beautiful from their loss. That day he made the choice for Claire to save another child – perhaps many – who were desperately waiting for the gift of life. Through organ donation, perhaps Claire could live on. He tucked Claire’s stuffed lamb, a gift from a friend, into the transplant coordinator’s arms and asked for it to be given to the family receiving his daughters heart.
The Journey They Take Together.
With renewed strength and gratitude for Landen’s lifesaving gift, the Bowers set forth into their new transplant life. They knew that a heart transplant was not a fix, merely an extension of life complete with its own set of challenges. Tammy made a commitment to take the best care of that delicate Lamb’s heart. The heart of a Lamb needed endless attention to keep the Lion healthy enough to live his life. They would see nine specialists and administer up to fourteen medications four times a day. His care was a full time job: up to forty hours of clinic appointments and therapy sessions a week. Thanks to their dedication, Landen enjoys a happy healthy life today. However, Tammy, his mother and main caregiver, has struggled for years to manage his increasingly complicated medical regimen. Frustrated with endless reams of notes, alarms on her phone, calendars too full to write on, she knew that there was a better solution then lugging a giant binder to each appointment. Even trying other apps on the market did not work for her. Therefore, out of love for the Lion and the Lamb, LionHeart Innovations was born.