NASHVILLE, Tenn. - He received a heart transplant at just two months old, and has been in the hospital since the day he was born. On Tuesday, after nine long months, little Andrew Hagewood finally got to go home.
"We are excited, and numb," said his father, Keith Hagewood. "We can't believe this day has finally arrived."
When their little boy was born back in February, they were expecting a healthy baby.
"We did not know that anything would be wrong with him, and to find out that his heart was completely bad was a shocker," said Keith.
For the next 50 days, Andrew was kept alive by machines as he waited for a heart transplant at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital.
"For the nurses, for the doctors, both on the cardiology floor and the intensive care unit, he certainly has many people who will be asking about him for a long time," said Pediatric Cardiologist Dr. Debra Dodd.
Andrew got his heart on March 30th, but complications kept him from going home.
Instead, the hospital became home for him and his parents.
"I mean, there are always times I think, with any parent up here, when you think, I have to walk down this long hall again," said his mother, Christy Hagewood.
Over time, the doctors and nurses became more like family.
"In the eight months we've been here, we have grown to love the staff," said Keith. "And what they have done for Andrew, and also for us."
In recent weeks, Andrew has been getting strong every day. When the family got word that he'd be allowed home on Tuesday, they were almost in disbelief.
"To know that tonight, our son will be in his bed and that we will be together as a family, whole," said Keith. "It's going to be rewarding to know that this part of the journey is completed."
Doctors say Andrew must continue to take some medications from home, but his prognosis is good.
The Hagewoods loaded him into their minivan just after three p.m. on Tuesday.
"It's just like time has really collapsed," said Keith. "We're finally bringing our baby home."
Andrew's parents hope his story will help raise awareness about the lives that are saved every day through organ donation.