UCLA fraternity sends supportive message to baby awaiting heart transplant in hospital across street

Ashley Mackey Image
Friday, February 18, 2022
UCLA fraternity sends message to baby awaiting heart transplant
A UCLA fraternity house has made a heartwarming show of support for the family of an 11-month-old boy hospitalized while he waits for a heart transplant.

Dane Jay is described by his parents as a happy and easy baby. They say all this remains true despite having to be in the hospital currently awaiting a heart transplant after the 11-month-old was diagnosed with heart failure.

"We're hoping for the best but at least if he needs it, we've made the list," said Megen Jay, Dane's mother. "Now we just wait and see if the doctors can figure something else out or we take a new heart at some point."

Parents Christopher and Megen Jay said they've seen a great show of support for their family, including Dane and their two young daughters. Friends, church members, and even strangers online have reached out, but when they saw a message from a fraternity house across the street from UCLA Medical Center, it warmed their hearts.

"It's hard to see someone that young or anyone going through that and so, I just thought why not," said Jack Pearce, a UCLA sophomore and member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. "Let's just put up some lights, at least make him feel good. Make the parents feel like they're not alone in this, because it's hard, you know."

Dane is spelled out in bright white Christmas lights with a big purple heart above it on the roof of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house. Dane and his family can enjoy the view from their hospital window at the UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital.

"During this day and age, it's really important to take a step back sometimes and do something nice for others," said Leah Roga, a UCLA student. "And I think that this is such a beautiful, wonderful example of that."

Members of the fraternity have even gone a step further and have included a GoFundMe link for Dane in their Instagram bio.

"We've gotten a lot of love from the family and they're getting a lot of attention as well," said Ryan Valte, another member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon at UCLA. "They're getting the help they need and little Dane just got on the waitlist for a heart transplant, so we're happy to hear that."

"A lot of the stuff that's going on is just so not important," Megen said. "This stuff is what's important and these boys, their parents should be so proud. Honestly, it's amazing."

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