December 23, 1995
Web posted at: 9 p.m. EST
From KUSA's Kim Christiansen
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- For most of us, Christmas becomes a list of things to do and places to be. But this story, shared by two families, gives us all a reason to stop and think about the clarity of hope.
"I love you, sweetheart," a mother tells her sleeping child. "You're looking good," dad says to his newborn. The two tiny lives share the same room in Children's Hospital. The babies were each born with the same problem, a heart that would not fully develop.
Their only hope was a transplant. And earlier this month, within two days of each other, both babies got new hearts.
Matthew Sorlie waited the longest for his. "You know, your first thought is of the donor family," says Matthew's mom. "But it's something you've prepared yourself for three and a half months so to say thank you is so trivial. But I just can't even find any other words." (68K AIFF sound or 68K WAV sound)
Matthew will have to grow into his heart. It's from a 3-year-old in Illinois. The scar goes down the center of his little body, but he's doing remarkably well. "You look at his eyes and you see light, which is something you didn't really see before," his dad says.
Big sister Megan came along to take him home. Matthew will leave at the same time his roommate Dylan does. "We prayed right from the start that we would have him home for Christmas. It's our dream come true here," Dylan's mom says.
Dylan Stodgell's new heart came from an 8-month-old baby in Chicago. A tragedy for another family was the most precious gift for the Stodgells. "We wanted to give him a chance to live," his mom says. (60K AIFF sound or 60K WAV sound)
Matthew's mother finds it hard to speak through her tears. "We just know that it's a very loving family who've given Matthew life. And I hope that they can find a little happiness in their Christmas this year cause we know what it's like to almost lose a child."
This Christmas, the Stodgells and the Sorlies especially understand what matters most.
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