Stephenville High School’s 2019 Heart of Gold recipient may not be old enough to understand what that means, but his family, friends and family certainly do.
Noah Constancio, who was just 18 months old when he had a successful heart transplant in June, will be honored as the recipient prior to the 7 p.m. kickoff for Stephenville’s District 7-4A football game against Waco La Vega at Tarleton State University’s Memorial Stadium.
Baby Noah is also scheduled to be a part of the SHS football pep rally, which is set to start at 8 a.m. Friday in Gandy Gym.
Each year, money raised from donations as well as Heart of Gold T-shirt sales is presented to help the family of a person who has been struggling with some form of illness.
This marks the 10th year that SHS has had a Heart of Gold recipient. Eleven years ago, Joseph Gillespie, Jeffrey Thompson and Mitch Copeland organized a White Out game to honor Presley Boydstun. That became the Heart of Gold event — a Stephenville tradition.
Baby Noah, who was born in January 2018, was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect, hypoplastic left heart syndrome. He has undergone four major open-heart surgeries, including a heart transplant.
Noah’s biological aunt, Lauren Constancio, and her husband, took guardianship of him and eventually adopted him officially.
He was treated at Cook Children’s until April, then transferred to Children’s Health Dallas. It was there, on June 23, 2019, Noah was able to have his successful heart transplant that saved his life.
He will remain on immunosuppressant drugs for the rest of his life, and will need lifelong medical care.
After the surgery, the family told the E-T that they would be traveling to and from the transplant center in Dallas three times a week for one year for follow-up visits, speech and other types of therapy, and dental checkups.
The nine previous Stephenville Heart of Gold recipients were:
2018 — Lauren Elise (“Lolo”) Loredo
2017 — Family of Julie Carrillo
2016 — Luke Nelson
2015 — Seth Gilley
2014 — Dayami Castillo
2013 — Boyd Mabry
2012 — Maddie McLemore
2011 — Jacoby Conger
2010 — Brent Morrison