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Wading River toddler returns home after undergoing heart transplant procedure

Buddy has made it home.

Everett Cotter, the Wading River toddler who underwent a heart transplant surgery earlier this month, was discharged from NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital Friday after spending more than six months at the hospital, his parents Brian and Ashley announced Saturday.

“For the last 6 months this place has been our home and the people here have become our family,” the family posted on the Instagram account they’ve used to provide updates for both Everett and their daughter Ruby, who underwent a heart transplant procedure in 2019. “Like every other step of this journey, leaving is bittersweet. It’s time to start our next chapter, together, as a family in our home. The next few months will be filled with trips back and forth to the city to keep a close eye on Everett’s new heart.”

Hospital staff lined the hallways clapping and cheering as the Cotter family wheeled Everett, who wore a Superman shirt, out of the hospital.

“We will never truly be able to express the love and gratitude to everyone involved in our son’s journey,” the Cotters wrote. “We also will make sure, just like Ruby, that we give him the best life and honor his donor and his donor’s family everyday. We also are very grateful for the love and support of the community. Our family, our friends and complete strangers gave us strength to continue on every day. We love you all.”

On Sunday, the family wrote how Everett, whose nickname is Buddy, was no longer on an NG tube used for feeding and he had taken his first “real” bath.

“We are blessed, we are lucky, we are complete,” they wrote.

Prior Coverage

Wading River toddler undergoes lifesaving procedure to receive new heart