On September 30, 2013, five-month old Nolan was hospitalized for what was believed to be a simple virus. After undergoing many tests between the doctor's office and emergency department, an X-ray showed what was believed to be an enlarged heart. An echocardiogram confirmed this condition, and he was quickly transported by LifeFlight to the Children's Hospital at Hershey Medical Center.
Nolan was then flown to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh a few days later on October 4. After several days of observation, Nolan was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy and reactive airway disease.
Dilated cardiomyopathy is a condition in which the heart becomes weakened and enlarged. As a result, the heart cannot pump enough blood to the rest of the body.
Nolan received a new heart January 23, 2014, 102 days after being placed on the list.
Proceeds from all the fundraisers listed go to the Nolan - Heart of Steel Fund, which will help the McLaughlins with unpaid medical expenses and also support the Children's Cardiomyopathy Foundation and transplant research at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
Follow along with Nolan's journey on his blog and Facebook page.