NM boy, 5, receives a new heart

Updated: 08/12/2014 8:35 AM | Created: 08/11/2014 9:10 PM

It's tough to find a little boy who hasn't dreamed of being a superhero. Some want to fly and others want to have X-ray vision. But for a little boy from Santa Fe who goes by the nickname "Hulk," becoming a super hero is a dream come true.

In video games and in life, you have villains and you have heroes. But for Junior Montoya, life is not a game.

"You see so much pain that a grown man would be crying every day, that a 5-year-old is going through," said Joshua Montoya, Junior's father.

Junior is a real hero fighting a real villain: Dilated Cardiomyopathy.

For an otherwise normal boy, Junior has been hooked up to an artificial heart since last fall. In early July, the fight took a turn.

"Finally this day has come where we had been wishing for so long and waiting for so long. I got the call that his heart was on its way at 9 o'clock," Joshua said. "By 8 o'clock the next morning he was already in surgery. There couldn't have been another perfect heart, more perfect for Junior."

A heart fit for a hero who has taken down the biggest villain yet.

Junior received his new heart, and most of his care, at the Denver Children's Hospital. There have been numerous fundraisers throughout New Mexico to help the Montoyas when they return to Santa Fe.

"Feels like all the weight just lifted up off our shoulders," Joshua said.

Junior's recovery from the transplant has been so successful, doctors hope to send him home to New Mexico by mid-September.

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