Baby Dillon Doing Well

The Early Show: Baby, Four month-old Dillon Sellers, mother and doctor
CBS/The Early Show
Four-month-old Dillon Sellers, who received a desperately needed heart transplant while his military father was in Kuwait, is doing well just weeks after surgery.

His mother, Betsy Seller, and transplant team leader Dr. Anees Razzouk talked with The Early Show from Loma Linda University Medical Center to give an update on Dillon's health.

Dillon has captured the heart of America because his parents were keeping an eye on his recovery from opposite ends of the world. Mom was at his side in California and his father was in Kuwait, preparing for war. His father was one of the first U.S. Marines to cross into Iraq.

After three weeks, Dillion is breathing on his own without a respirator, a vast improvement from his critical-but-stable condition immediately after receiving a new heart.

"I was with him yesterday, and he is like a brand-new baby," says Betsy. "I held him once last week on a respirator but it was difficult. So yesterday was the first time that I really got to enjoy just being with him."

Betsy says her son is more energetic, alert and his color is good. Plus, his breathing is even and normal.

"Dillon's recovery has been pretty steady," says Dr. Razzouk. "The rejection is the highest risk during the first three to six months. But I think he likes his new heart and he has shown us that he is going to keep it. And he will be on a steady course."

Betsy says she was able to briefly talk to her husband a week ago and tell him Dillion was making good progress.

"I haven't been in touch with him since then," says Betsy. "So he doesn't know that he is off the respirator and eating and doing those kinds of things yet."

Interviewed by satellite on March 14, Dillon's father, Major Hal Sellers, said on The Early Show, he was very happy his son finally gotten a heart. "We realize that's not necessarily a cure, but it certainly is a step in the right direction in terms of him having a chance at life."

He said he was able to get in touch with his wife at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital, just as his son was coming out of surgery.

"Everything seemed to be going well, I was able to talk to her a little bit later in the day, as well as this morning and it seems like his recovery is going well so far," he said.

For the last couple of months, the Sellers have run the gamut of emotion from extreme lows to extreme highs. At this point, Maj. Sellers said his main frustration is not being able to be with his son.

"Certainly, when I was back in the States, I could call on him any time I needed to. I could go visit him," he said. "So coming here, you know, obviously that opportunity wasn't there. And while I've been, you know, busy here and engaged, certainly in the back of your mind you're wondering what's going on with on with Dillon and how he was doing. So it's a little bit more satisfying to know that at least he's got a heart and his recovery seems to be going well so far."

So on the show, he sent a message to his wife and two other kids,

"I just want to tell them I love them. They're certainly in my thoughts all the time. And I'm thinking about them and Dillon all the time," he said.