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5-Year-Old's Birthday Wish: A New Heart


5-year-old Joshua (Junior) Montoya rides a bike around the hospital where he's been living while waiting for a new heart.
5-year-old Joshua (Junior) Montoya rides a bike around the hospital where he's been living while waiting for a new heart.

Joshua (Junior) Montoya turned five this week at Children’s Colorado, and his Heart Institute nurses planned a superhero-worthy birthday celebration.

Junior has dilated cardiomyopathy and would tell you his super powers come from his Berlin Heart ventricular assist device, which is mechanically pumping the left side of his heart. He has been living at the hospital waiting for a heart transplant since November 2013.

However, while he waits, his parents, Josh and Destiny Montoya, and Dr. Scott Auerbach, medical director of the ventricular assist device program, would tell you that Junior is all over the hospital. “He's riding his bike; he's shooting baskets, he's hitting the baseball. He's got the greatest smile you've ever seen. And he can probably beat anybody in the hospital at video games," Auerbach said to 9News.

Junior Montoya 5th Birthday w. Nurses

"The nurses really, really are fond of him. They've gotten to know him very well after this length of time. Hopefully we can get him a heart for his birthday," said Dr. Max Mitchell, cardiac surgeon and medical director of the hospital’s Mechanical Circulatory Support Program.

Watch the 9News story about Junior’s birthday party.