Lurie Hospital’s 1st heart transplant recipient doing well back at home

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Christine Grobart with her son Tim Grobart, 5 years old, at Children's Memorial Hospital waiting for a heart transplant before or after the move to the new Lurie Children's Hospital, Wednesday, June 6, 2012. | John H. White~Chicago Sun-Times.

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Goodbye, hospital food. Hello, Brazilian grilled meats.

Tim Grobart, the 5-year-old heart transplant recipient featured in Chicago Sun-Times’ stories about the June move to the new Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, is back home in Lombard and heading out on the town, at least on Friday night.

“We’re going out to dinner tonight to a Brazilian steak house,” said his father, Jeff Grobart, on Friday afternoon.

Tim, admitted to the hospital May 30, received his new heart during an overnight surgery that spanned June 19 and 20. It was the first heart transplant surgery performed at the new hospital, which opened June 9.

Tim was discharged to the Ronald McDonald house on July 16. Ten days later, he was given the all-clear to head home to Lombard.

“He’d been doing really well at the hospital and really well at Ronald McDonald House,” Jeff Grobart said. “The difference between him there and him at home is nothing but a rocket taking off.”

Young Tim, who was born with a heart defect and had six operations before the transplant, does have some restrictions. The anti-rejection drugs he is on suppress his immune system. While he’s out to dinner, he needs to wear a mask when he’s not eating.

“He’s not really thrilled about it,” Grobart said.

Tim will start kindergarten a month late, at the end of September, if his recovery continues apace. In the meantime, he’s finding plenty to keep him busy at home.

“Being able to play freely with his brother and all of his toys, sleeping in his own bed, he went from good to great,” Jeff Grobart said. “He’s got so much more energy and wants to do so many things.”

Next month, Jeff Grobart plans to include him in 9-hole golf outings with Tim’s older brother.

“[Tim’s] been very jealous [of the golf trips] but he never had the energy,” Jeff Grobart said. “Come the fall when it’s less hot out there’s no question about taking him out there and letting him swing away.”