Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

For a third, difficult time, Stacy and Jason Bingham have a child recovering from a heart transplant.

Early Wednesday, the youngest of the North Powder couple’s five children — 8-year-old Gage Bingham — underwent successful transplant surgery, just as his two older sisters did in the same California hospital several years ago.

The Binghams posted on their blog that Gage was in the operating room at 3 a.m. Wednesday. As of noon, he was out of surgery and doing well.

The family is at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University in Palo Alto.

Gage was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, which means his heart has grown too large to function properly.

Two of his sisters, Sierra, 17, and Lindsey, 12, both suffer from the same malady.

Sierra had her first heart transplant in 2006. She underwent a second transplant surgery in 2015.

Lindsey had a heart transplant in 2012.

But two other siblings — sister Megan, 15, and brother Hunter, 10 — have not shown signs of dilated cardiomyopathy, although both are tested annually.

Gage has been waiting for a suitable transplant heart for about a year and a half.

On Nov. 16, 2015, doctors implanted a device called a HeartWare in Gage’s chest to help his heart while he awaits a transplant.

The Binghams posted on their blog Tuesday morning that a potentially suitable donor heart was available, and that a doctor, who called the couple at 11 p.m. Monday, asked them to fly to the California hospital as soon as possible.

At 9:07 p.m. Tuesday, Jason Bingham posted that he was with Gage at the hospital.

“We went for a walk, went to the play room, played Mario Kart, and watched a movie. His spirits are pretty mellow, not too excited and not too sad. In his prayers he prayed for a good surgery and that he would come out OK.”

Stacy Bingham helped the couple’s other children move back to the Ronald McDonald House near the hospital, where the family has stayed during Sierra’s and Lindsey’s transplants.

At 3:05 a.m. Wednesday, Stacy Bingham posted that Gage walked to the operating room while Queen’s rock anthem “We Are The Champions” blared from speakers.

“Not sure where he has heard that one, but that is what he wanted and that is what he got,” she wrote. “He was very scared and teary.”

At 8 a.m. Stacy posted: “old heart is out. The new heart is here. Everything is going smoothly. Thank you all for your countless prayers. I know we are being strengthened through them. My biggest fear has been set at ease and I feel peace and complete confidence he is going to be fine.”

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