NC family raising funds for newborn girl’s heart transplant costs

ROBERSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A Robersonville baby is still recovering after receiving a life saving heart transplant in August.

Lila Grace Watson was born with a heart defect and needed the transplant just weeks after being born. The procedure was performed at Duke University Medical Center on August 20, 2015.


Since then, Watson has remained in critical care, but is expected to make a full recovery.

However, the procedure did come at a cost.

“Heart transplant, it was upwards of $500,000 just for the transplant day itself,” said Chris Minton, the family’s pastor in Robersonville.

Minton said the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) stepped in to help, and asked the community to help raise $100,000 to cover the medical bills. It is a mission Minton has taken to heart.

“I guess for us as a church, Jesus said do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” Minton said. “If we were in this situation, we would want somebody to help us out.”

Matthew Watson, Lila’s father, said the family has been blown away by the support they have received so far.

“It’s the most humbling experience we’ve ever been through,” Watson said. “Just knowing that we have that much support already, and so much support from people we don’t even know.”

So far the community has raised about $5,000.

There are several events already planned, including a bicycle ride on October 17 at 9:00 a.m at The Way of Grace Ministries on 1260 Middle St. in Jamesville. Registration is $25 per bike.

Tickets are also being sold for $10 for a benefit concert on October 10th at 6:30 pm at the Martin County Auditorium.

To make a donation to support the effort, send money to COTA at 2501 W. COTA Dr. Bloomington, Indiana, 47403. Checks and money orders should be made payable to COTA with “In Honor of Lila W.” written on the memo line.

Donations may also be made online here.

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