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imageFour-month-old Dillon Sellers gained national attention when his father, Maj. Hal Sellers, was forced to decide between his family and his duty overseas. He said goodbye to his son and left for https://www.fqphhcan4.online the Middle East more than two weeks ago.

The surgery, at Loma Linda University Medical Center, began around 12:30 a.m. EST and took more than three hours.

Dillon was ten days old when he was diagnosed Oct. 31 with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, which occurs when a heart is unable to pump or circulate blood. Although the condition can often be corrected with surgery, doctors said Dillon's heart was too damaged. A transplant was his only option.

"They didn't tell me anything, just that they had a heart and a team was going to get it," the boy's mother, Betsy Sellers said earlier Wednesday.

"The heart's here," she said minutes after her beeper went off in the waiting room of the hospital's children's wing.

Betsy Sellers said the Marine Corps had attempted to tell her 37-year-old husband of the surgery Wednesday night, but she didn't know if they were successful in reaching him.

"They sent him an e-mail," she said. "I guess they're trying to call him too. God, I hope he hears soon."

As the family struggled with Dillon's diagnosis, Hal Sellers was offered a desk job at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, a small desert town 140 miles east of Los Angeles.

But the 13-year veteran is second-in-command of the 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion and had trained for months to help lead the Middle East mission. His wife said he was concerned about bringing in a new member so late in the training.

As she settled in for a long wait at the hospital, Betsy Sellers, accompanied by several Marine Corps representatives, read through several bags of mail from well-wishers. One of the letters came with a teddy bear that she planned to give her son after the operation.

By Chelsea J. Carter

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