Tennessee baby receives heart transplant after monthslong wait

The baby is doing better after the transplant, according to his mother.
Mark Clouse received a heart transplant in January. (Credit: Patience Clouse)
Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 2:57 PM CST
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HARROGATE, Tenn. (WSMV) – A Tennessee baby has received a new heart after waiting months to get it.

Mark Clouse Jr. received his heart transplant Jan. 19. Video of the 16-month-old being rolled back to the operating room has gone viral on TikTok.

The video shows little Mark’s arm being raised in triumph as bubbles fly and a line of people celebrate him getting a much-needed heart as he goes back to the operating room. As of Tuesday, the video has been viewed more than four million times.


It's been a long journey, but GOD provides! Our faith would not be shaken. Thank God for the generosity of the family of the donor. May our prayers be with them. 🙏🏼❤️‍🩹 #amen #Godisgood #hearttransplant #CHD #markjrstrong #HLHS

♬ Love Wins - Carrie Underwood

Mark was diagnosed at 35 weeks’ gestation with HLHS, a severe form of congenital heart disease, which affects 1 in 100 babies, his mother Patience wrote in a Facebook post. He had a massive stroke when he was just a few weeks old, his mother said, and had a less severe stroke a couple of months later.

If that wasn’t tough enough, Mark then started having seizures that plagued his quality of life. However, medicines helped, his mother said, and they were able to finally go home in March of 2022.

But within a few months, Mark’s oxygen levels dropped, and he went into severe heart failure. He was put on a priority list for a heart transplant.

“He was finally listed on the heart transplant list as 1A. We spent a long 7 months waiting for a heart to come available, praying every day that God perform a miracle, a full healing, without medical intervention,” Mark’s mother wrote. “In many ways God was with our son, our family, and made sure we made it to the day we had been waiting so long for... Heart Transplant Day!”

His mother reports Mark’s body is not rejecting the heart and he is doing okay.

“After 8 long months of being inpatient, we are about to finally be discharged!” Mark’s mother wrote in a Facebook post. “If all continues to go well in the next few months, and no rejection or illness creeps its way in, then we should be looking at finally going home together around April/May! God is good!”

You can follow Mark’s journey here.