BOTHELL, Wash. - For as small as he is, Ezra Koenig is a tough little guy.
He was born with two serious heart defects, and doctors weren't sure Ezra would see his first sunrise. However, after a heart transplant at
His parents, Daniel and Laura, prepared for the worst on the day Ezra was born.
"We didn't know what was gonna happen. He might not make it. This might be the one and only time we see him," said Daniel. "That was pretty scary."
The only chance Ezra would have at life would be a heart transplant – at just four months old.
His parents weighed the risks and the impact on their other two children.
"I had to ask myself is it better for them to grow up with him and maybe risk losing him in 15 or 20 years, or lose him now," said Daniel.
The transplant was a success. Six months later, Ezra is still fighting.
Because of his condition, Ezra has nearly no immune system. Every little germ brought in the house can bring weeks in the hospital. It isn't an easy thing to guard against with two school-age kids in the house.
"Since birth, he's been in the hospital longer than he has not been in the hospital," said Daniel.
Between hospital visits, lost time at work, and the dozens of medications Ezra takes, the Koenigs say they're spending up to $1,000 a month to care for their son on one income.
"Just to have that ongoing anxiety and fear is difficult," said Laura.
They family needs help.
The Children's Organ Transplant Association estimates the Koenigs will spend $100,000 caring for Ezra over the next 15 or so years. At that point, his current heart will begin to fail and he will need another transplant. That would likely cost another $500,000.
It's a mountain of money they know will be hard to raise, but Laura and Daniel are committed.
Laura asks, what price would you pay for as much time as possible with your children?
"Just not knowing how many more minutes you have with someone really changes how you view your whole world," she said.
A fundraiser for the family is planned for March 10 at Lynnwood High School. View more information about the event at cotaforezrak.com.
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