Houston Forward Times

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06 November 2013 Written by  Jeffrey L. Boney

"Heart of Ethan Project" Inaugural Gala a Huge Success!

Hundreds of attendees were on hand for the inaugural “One Heart One Life: Connecting the Community Together” gala, to celebrate with the family of little Baby Ethan Richards, whose story inspired countless people to come together to celebrate God’s goodness and highlight the organization that was created to support Baby Ethan and his family.

 Attendees were entertained by guest saxophonist Gregory “SaxMan” Daniels and the Holman Street Baptist Church Mime team, “God’s Silent Voices.” Attendees heard from Baby Ethan’s parents, Sean and Regis Richards, as well as honored several guests at the inaugural event for their involvement in this life-changing event. 

Honorees were: Charla Crochet, Willie Taylor and Michele Taylor, Ed.D., Karen Carter Richards and Emmett Dean McKenzie, M.D., the doctor who performed the surgery. 

Attendees also participated in silent auction festivities, along with a live raffle of prizes. 

The Heart of Ethan Project was inspired by two December 2012 articles written in the Houston Forward Times, entitled “All I Want for Christmas is a New Heart” and “Christmas Miracle: Baby Ethan Gets His Heart!”

Baby Ethan was in desperate need for a heart transplant; and after initially not being on the heart transplant list at all, Baby Ethan was miraculously added and placed at the top of the list. After much prayer, Baby Ethan’s parents were blessed to receive word from the hospital that a heart donor had been located for their son and doctors were able to successfully perform surgery on Baby Ethan the following morning. The surgery went so smooth, that as soon as they put the heart in, it started beating on its own with no manipulation of the heart needed on the doctors’ part.  This was just the beginning of this family’s journey.

“Even though Baby Ethan received his heart transplant, his family has many financial and emotional needs to deal with as a result of this life changing incident,” said Heart of Ethan Executive Director Willie A. Taylor. “We, at the Heart of Ethan Project, are determined not to let this young family fall through the cracks and face this situation alone. Our goal is to help alleviate some of the financial burden from Baby Ethan’s family and to educate the community about children’s chronic healthcare illnesses.”

Sean and Regis Richards have committed their lives to fighting for their son and educating others about the importance of going to the doctor and becoming an organ donor.  Although they haven’t met the parents of the child who lost their life to provide Baby Ethan with his new heart, they are hopeful that they one day will.  Sean and Regis, have themselves, become organ donors and blood donors and want to encourage the African-American community to take their kids and themselves to the doctor.

A website has been created for the Heart of Ethan Project, which provides an online community for all of Baby Ethan’s friends, family, and supporters and gives them the chance to follow his progress and learn how they can help in the fight against paediatric heart disease.

Please keep Baby Ethan and his parents in your prayers as he recovers and don’t forget to donate to the Heart of Ethan Project by visiting their website at www.heartofethan.org or feel free to contact them at 832-689-4594.