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Las Cruces teen next in line for heart transplant

teenager hopes for heart transplant
KVIA
Brannden Fernandez (center) is shown with his parents in this photo provided by the family.

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- Brannden Fernandez has a heart that’s too big for his body. His family always knew it would have to be replaced but that time came faster than expected.

He’s 16 years old and waiting for a heart transplant. Last October Brannden Fernandez’ enlarged heart made his blood pressure in his lungs skyrocket. It was so serious he needed to be flown out of EL Paso for urgent treatment.

“When they first got to Stanford in Palo Alto, California they weren’t able to put him on the transplant list immediately because they had to bring down the pulmonary hypertension,” said Trine Lane, Brannden’s aunt.

After months of work his blood pressure is now low enough that he’s at the top of the list.

Brannden hasn’t led an easy life. His heart problems are only part of the pain he’s gone through.

“At 16 years old this kid has gone through so much. He lost his father, who was murdered here in Las Cruces, and that was his heart and soul,” Lane said.

It’s that same pain of losing a loved one that will make Brannden even more appreciative of the things that need to happen for him to have a chance to live.

“The only person who can donate him that organ is a person who has passed away. Another family has to lose their loved one so that my nephew can live,” Lane said.

All they can do know is wait, but they’re hopeful.

Brannden’s family would like to thank everyone who has helped them in the past. That support, they said, has helped carry them through this part of their lives.

Brannden’s uncle is former military and their treatment is covered through Tricare.

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Julio-Cesar Chavez

Julio-Cesar Chavez is an ABC-7 reporter.

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