Prayer abounds with Brayden’s heart transplant

SUSSEX COUNTY – Power of prayer is resonating throughout Sussex County and beyond for a little boy whose need for a new heart was answered.

Brayden Houston, a 5-year-old Delmar-area boy afflicted with Barth syndrome, underwent heart transplant surgery Wednesday morning at A.I. duPont Children’s Hospital – and initial reports are things look good.

“Yes, everything went well so far,” said Sheila Kintz, a friend of Brayden’s family and co-community coordinator of fundraising activities. “He won’t be awake for a couple days, but that is normal protocol for this type of surgery. It will be a process of monitoring and making sure everything is OK.”

post BRAYDEN heart transplant photo

Brayden, the son of Tracy Torbert and Jay Houston, has Barth Syndrome, a rare male-only genetic disorder that affects multiple body systems whose characteristics include cardiomyopathy. Doctors last fall recommended a life-saving heart transplant.

Brayden has been at A.I. duPont since mid-December, on the transplant waiting list.

Ms. Kintz shared an update from Brayden’s mom Wednesday evening.

“Thank you everyone for the thoughts and prayers for our sweet Brayden. He is doing well and still recovering …,” said Ms. Torbert. “He has had two nurses all to himself and will for the first 24 hours after his transplant!  Please continue to keep him in your prayers. The next few days are critical to his recovery. Also remember to keep the donor’s family in your prayers; we cannot thank them enough for giving our boy a second chance at life. Pray for a restful and good night for Brayden as well as our family as it has been a long night/day for all of us.”

Meanwhile, back home in Sussex County, fundraising support has been ongoing through the Children’s Organ Transplant Association, a national charity based in Indiana dedicated to organizing and guiding communities in raising funds for transplant-related expenses.

Ms. Kintz is among those spearheading the events.

“The fundraiser activities will still continue. We still need to raise that $60,000 because that $60,000 account is his account and good for Brayden’s whole entire life,” Ms. Kintz said. “At any point in his life, if he needs money for anti-rejection medicine or anything like that he can get that.”

Comments on social media remembered the donor’s family.

“We have been praying for Brayden and his need for a new heart. Last night a family gave the gift of a second chance of life to Brayden by donating a heart,” LOVE INC of Mid-Delmarva posted on Facebook. “His new heart is in, and is reported to be doing well. The next few days are critical. Please be in prayer. When we lifted in prayer Brayden’s need for a heart transplant at my Church, one of the children asked his grand mom after, where do the new hearts come from? Out of complete love, these hearts come from. One family’s tragic loss is life anew and joy for another. May the power of the Holy Spirit comfort the donor family! May they find peace in knowing they saved another life. God is good, all the time!

A Facebook page entitled “Love For Brayden’s Heart” has been created for people wishing to follow Brayden’s journey, along with information updates.

For information on Brayden, COTA and fundraising events, visit, or contact Ms. Kintz at 302-236-9598 or via email at:

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at

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