After heart transplant, Anchorage’s ‘Warrior Lincoln’ returns home
It was a homecoming fit for a warrior Saturday evening as 14-month-old Lincoln Seay and his family pulled into their driveway in Rabbit Creek.
“It feels like a dream because we sat and just imagined this day for months, 465 days,” said Lincoln’s dad, Rob Seay. “It’s a dream come true. It’s a miracle that came true.”
The Seays’ lives were turned upside when Lincoln went into heart failure soon after he was born. Lincoln and his family left life as they knew it, moving from Anchorage to Seattle while they waited for an organ donor match.
Enduring several close calls in the intensive care unit (ICU) of Seattle Children’s Hospital, for months the Seays’ baby boy fought for his life, earning him the nickname “Warrior Lincoln.”
The saving grace came on a helicopter back in early 2016. A donor heart had been found, which meant Lincoln would undergo heart transplant surgery to save his life.
“They were able to put [the donor heart] in and it started right up,” said Lincoln’s mom, Mindy Seay, in a February interview.
Now, with Lincoln’s new heart beating strong, the road to recovery has finally led the Seay family back home to Alaska.
Tearful hugs and kisses were shared at the airport, as the Seays’ three oldest children greeted them with their #WarriorLincoln shirts on. It was an emotional start to the surprise waiting for them outside the airport — a limousine, to take them to their home in Rabbit Creek.
Waiting for them on the other side of the 15-minute drive were dozens of friends and family members, who came out in the rainy weather to hold “Welcome Home!” signs and sport their #WarriorLincoln T-shirts as well.
First in line was Lincoln’s great-grandma, Diann Williams, who last laid eyes on Lincoln in April.
“I went down to see him for a few days and he wasn’t doing good at that time,” said Williams of her great-grandson. “So this is going to be a real surprise for me to see he’s this bouncy, happy baby boy.”
And that’s what the Seays are bringing home to Alaska, Rob says — “Happiness, in the form of Lincoln.”
“This is real, Lincoln is real,” he said. “He was on the bed of death.”
But the tears shared this go-round were those of joy, Mindy said, adding that Lincoln’s journey has taught them how to “roll with the bad days.”
“A bad cup of coffee is a bad cup of coffee; it’s not a big deal, you know?” she explained. “We don’t stress the small stuff as much anymore.”
The group that welcomed Warrior Lincoln home is part of the massive support system around the nation that’s been with the Seays since they first learned their baby’s heart was on the line.
“It took a village to get back home,” said Rob to the friends and family gathered in front of their home. “It took a lot of prayers, it took a lot of support, it took unbelievable faith. And today, I’m happy to say that we expected a miracle, and that’s exactly what we got.”
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