4-year-old boy’s family pays it forward after heart transplant

Local News

WINSLOW, Ind. (WEHT) — After being given an 18% chance of survival at birth, 4-year-old River Harbin has defied the odds time and time again.

Last month he received a new heart. Now, River’s mother says he’s recovering happily at home. 

“We’re so fortunate that we’re home because at the beginning of the year, we never in a million years thought we’d be home in July. With how sick River was, we thought for sure it would be a lot longer,” said Brittany Harbin. 

Thankful for her little hero’s homecoming, Brittany and her family said they wanted to pay it forward to help others in similar situations.

“It’s very expensive, a lot of families can’t stay up there with their kids. They drop them off, come on the weekends, sometimes they don’t even come on the weekends. So she put a fundraiser together to donate to Riley’s so other families will be able to be with their kids more,” said River’s grandmother Angie Kern.

The “Heart for a Hero” fundraiser includes live music from 16 bands, a two day softball tournament, raffle prizes and plenty of food and drinks.

“I knew that something like this, with all of his followers, it was going to be huge and I wanted to be a part of that. We worked with Britney’s mom and we got just so much more than I ever could have imagined,” said family-friend Desiree Perry.

Over 13,000 dollars from tournament entry fees and donations has been raised to help other families with medical and travel expenses.

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(This story was originally published on July 20, 2019)

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