Events encourage organ donation as local boy awaits heart transplant

  • Casey Bolton of Pittsfield and her son, Parker Bolton. Parker has a congenital heart defect and now needs a heart transplant. —Courtesy

  • Parker Bolton Courtesy

Monitor staff
Published: 5/9/2018 10:40:38 PM

The special at the Main Street Grill and Bar in Pittsfield on Thursday night will be macaroni and cheese, hot sauce and pickles.

That’s what 9-year-old Parker Bolton always gets when he stops in with his mom, Casey Bolton. But it’s been months since Parker put in that order, because he’s been at the Boston Children’s Hospital for eleven weeks waiting for a heart transplant.

An event at the downtown restaurant Thursday hopes to raise awareness about organ donation and get people to register.

“Parker and his mom and his grandfather come in all the time. We’re basically doing an organ donor drive,” said Scott Partridge, Main Street Grill’s owner. The event will run from 5 to 8 p.m. and feature a raffle.

Parker was born without a left ventricle, and has already undergone a succession of open-heart surgeries. He is the namesake of “Parker’s Law,” a state statute that requires hospitals to screen newborns for heart defects. Now he needs a full heart transplant.

“A few days ago he had a high risk operation implanting a ventricular assist device to keep him alive until a match becomes available,” said Kimberly Pang, New Hampshire Volunteer State Ambassador for the Rare Action Network. “If everything goes smoothly through Friday he will come off from the ventilator.”

When a heart will become available for Parker is anybody’s guess.

“It could be even a year. Because it has to be roughly the right size and the right blood type,” Pang said.

Parker will also be featured in a Chaos & Kindness segment on WMUR on Friday night.

Thursday’s event and a corn hole tournament in Manchester on June 10 all aim to raise money for the family. But the biggest hope is to encourage people to sign up to the donor registry.

“Our main concern is really that we bring awareness, because Parker needs a heart,” said Donna Parker, of the Make-a-Wish Foundation. The nonprofit is working with Southern New Hampshire University to create a video-game from Parker’s drawings.

Twenty people die a day waiting for an organ transplant, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

People interested in learning more about organ donation or registering can go online at


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