DISD Board Member Shares Story of Daughter's Life-Saving Heart Transplant Journey

On Thursday morning, Dallas Independent School District Board Member and former Dallas Mayoral Candidate, Miguel Solis, stood on stage at The Rustic in Dallas. It wasn't a campaign speech. Solis was speaking from the heart.

"Because of the amazing things happening for my daughter, her life was saved," Solis said. "At 12:07 on her three-month birthday, Olivia's new heart began to beat, and it's been beating strong ever since."

Solis spoke at Children's Health's 'What's Up, Doc' breakfast. He said he felt a duty to share his family's story to help others, to plea for donations for research, and to encourage others to consider organ donation, or volunteering their time at Children's Health.

Courageous Kid Abby Tettleton has spent one out of her eight years in the hospital. She's waiting on a kidney transplant and through it all, she continues to spread joy wherever she goes.

"There are families in this hospital, Children's Health, who are experiencing the same thing that we experienced who aren't sure whether their outcome at the end is going to be as joyful as our outcome was," Solis said.

Olivia Solis was born with a congenital heart defect. Her first few months were spent in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Children's Health in Dallas. She had open heart surgery and was on life support before finally getting a life-saving heart transplant.

"There are only a few places in the country that Olivia would have survived," said Olivia's transplant surgeon Dr. Jake Jaquiss. "She had to be in a place which was willing to take a chance on someone who was high risk by any sort of yardstick."

She also had to have a family willing to donate a child's heart.

"Someone made a selfless decision, perhaps in the darkest moment of their lives, in order to breathe life into my daughter," Solis said. "That family needs to know what that selfless decision means to us."

This weekend the Solis family will meet with the donor's family. Solis said they asked for one thing; to be able to listen to Olivia's heart.

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