Boy in need of heart transplant makes special connection with law enforcement

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A Knoxville family is trying to raise awareness for organ donation. Kolton Hessman, 3, was born with several heart defects and is currently waiting on a heart transplant.

He also has a special connection with the law enforcement community.

Kolton is a happy and beautiful 3-year-old boy who loves playing in the snow and watching Pixar movies. However, Kolton doesn’t always get to do his favorite activities like other kids because he’s been doing them from a hospital bed at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

“They’re actually doing physical therapy right now. It’s quite amazing,” said his dad Grant Hessman.

Kolton was born with his heart on the right side of his chest instead of the left. He has multiple heart defects and was born without a spleen. He is currently waiting on a heart transplant.

“He’s a larger kid a little bit, so he can get the heart of a three year old all the way up to the start of the teenage years. We have a wide range and I thought he wouldn’t have to wait this long, but unfortunately it’s just turned out that way,” said Grant Hessman.

Kolton has received a lot of support from the community, especially those in blue.

More online: Follow Kolton’s story on Facebook

“Kolton loves law enforcement and we bought him one of those little battery operated cars you sit in and he loves it,” said his dad.

Law enforcement agencies from all over the country have sent Kolton gift baskets and some even paid him a visit.

“He actually saw the Chattanooga Hamilton County SWAT team and one of the members came up and gave him a signed picture with all their names on it, so it was quite amazing,” Grant Hessman said.

The Hessmans are hoping to bring awareness to the importance of organ donation with Kolton’s story.

“There’s very needy children just like there are adults. I just don’t think there’s enough information out there about the donation process. I think one person can save up to eight if they donate several things.”