Knoxville 3-year-old with heart defect, darling of law enforcement community, passes away

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UPDATE Thursday

Kolton’s memorial service will be Sunday, January 29, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Gentry-Griffey Funeral Home in Fountain City.

__UPDATE 8:42 p.m.

Kolton and his police escort have returned to Knoxville. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.


UPDATE: Kolton passed away at 1:12 p.m. Central time Wednesday at Vanderbilt Medical Center.


NASHVILLE (WATE) – A Knoxville 3-year-old who has been awaiting a heart transplant at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville is not expected to make it through the week, according to a Facebook video update shared by his father.

Kolton Hessman has captured the hearts of people around the nation because of his special connection with the law enforcement community. Kolton was born with his heart on the right side of his chest instead of the left. He has multiple heart defects and was born without a spleen.Previous story: Knoxville boy in need of heart transplant makes special connection with law enforcement

Kolton has received a lot of support from the community, especially those in blue. Law enforcement agencies from all over the country have sent Kolton gift baskets and some even paid him a visit.

Kolton’s dad Grant Hessman posted to a Facebook group created to share news about Kolton’s condition and offer prayers. He said that while Kolton is still responsive that he has had too many complications, including a hole in one of his lungs and a blood clotting disorder, that have left him ineligible for a heart transplant.

The family wants Kolton to enjoy his last moments with family and plans to take Kolton off life support Thursday morning, without which he is not expected to survive long. The family says Kolton will wear a Vanderbilt police uniform and he will receive a police escort from the Hendersonville Police Department back to Knoxville.More online: Follow Kolton’s story on Facebook

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