December 11, 2014

Baby Moses, all grown up, visits Loma Linda University Health

From left to right, Maria Anguiano, Leonard L. Bailey, MD, and Eddie Anguiano share an embrace during an informal reunion on Dec. 9.

Most people today may not know about the 29-year-old “Baby Moses.” No, this isn’t the baby who floated among the bulrushes of the Nile.

Rather, Baby Moses is the name coined for the first infant to receive a successful infant-to-infant heart transplant back in 1985. The name was a way to protect his identity.

Baby Moses, who is now a young adult, is actually Eddie Anguiano. He and his mother, Maria, live in the Las Vegas area. Both stopped by Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital on Tuesday, Dec. 9, on the way to visit Maria Anguiano’s sister and attend a niece’s graduation.

A group of individuals primarily from Loma Linda University Transplantation Institute and Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital gathered for an informal reunion. Anguiano, an outgoing and engaging young man who works at Opportunity Village in Las Vegas and loves to walk his dog, Luna, was thrilled to see his friends at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. 

The highlight was a quick visit with Leonard L. Bailey, MD, chief of cardiothoracic surgery and pioneer in infant heart transplantation, who saved his life in 1985. Bailey had a few minutes to spare between his Tuesday surgery cases.

Eddie Anguiano was born Nov. 16, 1985. Today, he is the longest-surviving individual to receive a new heart as a newborn. His original heart, donated by the family of an infant in the San Francisco Bay area, still pumps in his chest.

Anguiano was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a condition in which the left ventricle of the heart is severely underdeveloped. Without the intervention of Bailey, he would most likely have died within a week or two.

The connection between Anguiano and Bailey is unmistakable. “You are looking well,” Bailey said after they exchanged a warm hug. Bailey picked up one of a collection of enlarged photos showing Anguiano as a baby and toddler.

“You were so cute,” Bailey laughed. Anguiano replied, within a heartbeat, “Now look what happened to me.” His friends at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital were delighted with his response.