Pottsboro teen that survived open heart surgery shows importance of giving blood

Published: Jun. 25, 2020 at 12:24 AM CDT
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POTTSBORO, Texas (KXII) - Only 12 hours after Jimmy Esparza was born he was put on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO.

For eight days body was receiving oxygen through a machine pumping it to his heart and lungs.

On the ninth day, he was rushed to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas for open-heart surgery, and later stomach surgery.

Esparza was diagnosed with TAPVR, a rare heart deformation. His pulmonary arteries were not properly connected to his heart’s left atrium, and instead his blood was being drained to the right side of his heart.

His parents were told it was unlikely he’d make it out of surgery, and if he did he’d be blind and deaf and soon develop cerebral palsy and down syndrome.

“It’s just a miracle that he made it through,” Jimmy’s mother Melissa Esparza said.

Esparza survived the surgery, but in the aftermath doctors were unable to safely remove the chest tube that was bringing oxygen to his heart and lungs, causing them to collapse.

Esparza would have to spend another 30 days in the hospital while doctors worked to re-inflate his lungs and address post-op intestinal complications.

Throughout his time in surgery Esparza was given several blood transfusions his mother said helped save his life.

So now he’s paying it forward.

“I donate blood and give back to the blood bank in Sherman,” Esparza said.

Now any Texoma resident can. The Oklahoma Blood Institute is holding another All-American Blood Drive at the Donald W. Reynolds Library in Durant Thursday from 11 am to 6 pm. They will also be offering free COVID-19 antibody exams to anyone who donates.

To make an appointment and find a blood drive near you visit

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