Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Carus Elementary's Cora Sutton returned to school recently after her September heart transplant

Carus Elementary student Cora Sutton returned to school Monday, Jan. 14 for the first time since receiving a heart transplant in September. Cora's class welcomed her back with open arms.

"She had such a great first day," said Cora's mom Rachelle Dominguez.

Cora was born in 2011 with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, and by 2015 she needed a heart transplant, much sooner than anyone expected. She was placed on the transplant list in August 2017 and she received her new heart in September 2018 at the age of seven.

RACHELLE DOMINGUEZ - Cora Sutton (left) poses with her two sisters, Aliviya Dominguez and Marlie Sutton, on Monday, Jan. 14, her first day back to elementary school since undergoing a heart transplant in September.

This month, when Cora was cleared to return to school, Dominguez expressed utter relief.

"Oh my goodness, it's like a huge weight has been lifted," Dominguez said. "She's no longer purple, she's gained 20 pounds in a few short months and is now at an average weight for her age. We had to buy new clothes because she grew two sizes."

Cora was a little hesitant to return to school, Dominguez said, but she grew more excited as the day grew closer.

Everyone at the school was so happy to have her back Monday. Carus Principal Sam Thompson reported that Cora looked great, was really happy and had lost her two front teeth—all signs Cora is thriving.

"This has been such a blessing and we are forever grateful to her donor and their family for giving her a chance at life," Dominguez said.

To follow Cora's story or to give directly toward her ongoing medical expenses, visit her Children's Organ Transplant Association webpage at

Kristen Wohlers
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