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Thousands #PrayForSilas as baby awaits new heart

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ATLANTA -

Thousands of prayers are pouring in for a 5-month-old Henry County baby in need of a new heart.

Silas Huffman looked perfectly normal for the first four months of his life. However, on Aug. 29, his mother, Amanda, noticed that he was breathing hard, so she took him to the pediatrician.

Within hours, Silas was being airlifted by helicopter to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston.

Silas' father, Chris Huffman, was in Tuscaloosa, Ala., finishing up sound check with his band, Grammy Award-winning Christian group Casting Crowns, when he got the call about his son.

"I get here and then hit the emotional wall. It was just like a ton of bricks hitting you. It was hard to take it all in," said Huffman.

X-rays showed that Silas' heart is much too big and much too weak, a condition called dilated cardiomyopathy.
 
"He's in heart failure, so his heart functions at about 15 percent, but you would never know just looking at him," said Amanda Huffman.

The Huffmans' friends, family and church rallied around them, decorating Silas' hospital crib, nicknaming him "Super Silas" and making bracelets with the hashtag #prayforsilas.

But by mid-September, doctors were telling the Huffmans that Silas needed a new heart soon.

The Huffmans say watching their youngest child struggle over the last five weeks has tested their faith in a way nothing else could.

"Especially with your kids, you think that's the one thing that you as a mom should be able to protect," said Amanda Huffman. "And so when something like this happens, I mean, you realize they're in God's hands."

Just days after the FOX Medical Team's Beth Galvin visited the family, Silas was back in the cardiac intensive care unit on a ventilator. As of Wednesday, he was in critical, but stable, condition at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston.

Amanda says Silas is scheduled for surgery to receive the Berlin Heart on Thursday. It's a small, external heart pump designed to take over and do the work for his weakened, enlarged heart.

Silas has been on the heart transplant waiting list since Sept. 11.  The Huffmans are hoping the Berlin Heart can buy him time until a donor heart can be found.

"I just prayed, and I said, ‘God, I know you know what's going on here. I know that you are in control of this.  Even though I'm a guy, I want to fix things. I know this is something I can't fix.  And I trust you with that,'" said Chris Huffman. "It was a very hard prayer for me to pray."

Since FOX 5 began posting updates on Silas' on the FOX 5 Facebook page, prayers for Silas have been pouring in. Thousands of Casting Crowns fans – as well as strangers -- are now following and sharing Silas' story.

A picture of "Super Silas" hangs on his hospital bed with the quote "Stronger than Average". For the tiny superhero, the Huffmans pray will be strong enough to hang on until a heart comes through.

"He's Superman. He's a strong baby.  I know he's completely unaware of what's wrong, but he's a fighter," said Chris Huffman.

The Huffmans wanted to share Silas' story to highlight the critical need for organ donors. His situation is still touch and go.

6:45 P.M. UPDATE: Silas' father tweeted, "Silas Man made it safe thru surgery w/no complications. Now we patiently, but eagerly & prayerfully await a new heart for him"

We'll post updates on Silas on the FOX 5 Facebook page as well as Beth Galvin's Facebook page.

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