HOUSTON - Four-year-old Rizan has made the trek to a Texas Children's Hospital operating room three times in his young life. Dr. Jeffrey Heinle has met him there every time.
"If you didn't know he had a heart defect you wouldn't know," said Heinle.
Rizan was born with multiple congenital heart defects.
"His fingertips were kind of bluish too," said Rizan's mother Laila.
So were his lips. Doctors realized there wasn't enough oxygen in his blood. His heart had only one working pumping chamber. Healthy babies have two.
"It was very shattering," said Laila. "We were completely broken."
Rizan's final surgery was the first in Texas Children's new Legacy Tower, the new home for the hospital's heart center. Surgeons found a way to pump blood to his lungs without using his heart.
"One of the reasons I enjoy this is that children bounce back faster than adults and they whine a lot less," said Heinle.
And Rizan is not one to complain. Just over a week since his surgery, he's out of bed and days away from going home.
"It's remarkable," said Heinle. "A day after he was out of bed in a chair, and he was riding a bike upstairs today."
Right now there's only one thing on this little boy's mind - leaving hospital beds and operating rooms behind. He's ready to start fresh and live strong with a healthy heart.