Goshen News, Goshen, IN

February 12, 2012

After two-year wait, Goshen teen receives heart transplant

New heart is in and beating


GOSHEN — A phone call around 5:15 a.m. Sunday morning ended a two-year wait for a new heart for Goshen’s Barrett Younghans, 19.

At 10:30 Sunday night, his aunt, Michelle Kercher of Goshen, received the news that the new donor heart was in and it was beating.

“Thanks be to God,” she wrote in a text message.

Younghans was diagnosed at 17 with cardiomyopathy, an enlargement of the heart muscle.

Barrett, the son of Lisa and Barry Younghans, was put on a transplant waiting list in January 2010.

He was six weeks into his freshman year of classes at Valparaiso University in September 2011, when his condition worsened and he had to return home.

In October, Kercher said, he had open heart surgery for implantation of a ventricular assist device.

“It does the pumping for him,” she explained.

Barrett was about five weeks into  studies at Goshen College when the call came Sunday morning that a donor heart was available.

“They were told it was a good match,” Kercher said.

Kercher got the call about her nephew at about 5:30 a.m. and the Younghans were on their way to IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis by 5:40 a.m.

The surgery started at 3 p.m. No update was expected on Barrett until around midnight, Kercher said, but the good news came earlier.

The Younghans are also posting updates on the web site caringbridge.org under Barrett’s name.