Codi Pelton at LLUCH

While awaiting a heart transplant, Codi Pelton took advantage of a photo op during a patient diversionary event at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital on Thursday, August 30, 2018.

Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital cardiologist, Matthew Bock, MD, turned stormtrooper, gave his patient the news she and her family had been needing.

On the transplant list for two and a half years, 13-year-old Codi Pelton was getting a new heart.

Codi was born with a heart defect, hypoplastic left heart syndrome, and had already had multiple surgeries since birth.

A huge Star Wars fan, Codi asked Bock to dress up as a storm trooper when he was able to break the good news to her.

Walking in to thematic music, with a sign that says “you have a heart,” Codi, her mom and the nurses on the cardiac unit broke into tears of joy.

Now, four months post-transplant, Codi is rejection free. An eighth-grader at Cielo Vista Charter School in Palm Springs, Codi and her new heart are back in school. According to her mom, Lisa Pelton, Codi is looking forward to running in the district track meet in March. “She hadn’t been able to do P.E. since the fourth grade,” Lisa said. “We are all overjoyed at her progress.”

More information on pediatric heart transplant at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital can be found online or by calling 1-800-468-5432.