Happy Wednesday, Philly. We're halfway through the week and we're starting off the day with the truly inspiring story of Nate Collins. The new father defied the odds after successfully receiving a third heart transplant, thanks to a courageous team at Temple University Hospital. Spoiler alert: third transplants are not a walk in the park. We also have updates on Stoneleigh, the public garden at risk of being broken up in Lower Merion. There's some good news and some bad news there.
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In the U.S., hospitals now perform more than 3,000 heart transplants each year. Nate Collins, a 43-year-old from Norristown, has had three of them.
Before you ask: no, it was not easy. With each transplant, new complications arise and scar tissue builds up. Third transplants are so rare there aren't even enough cases to calculate a survival rate.
Collins learned he needed a third just after he and his wife adopted their son. It took two hospital rejections before he met a surgeon to take on his unusual case: Temple University Hospital's Yoshiya Toyoda.
Lower Merion's new 42-acre public garden, Stoneleigh, had barely opened last month before the school district said it might seize the space to build a new middle school.
Public backlash swiftly followed. Just this week Lower Merion parents signed a letter to the district asking officials to take seizure of Stoneleigh off the table.
It seems they listened — sort of. The district has announced it hopes to purchase a different tract of land for the school. But part of Stoneleigh is still at risk of becoming athletic fields.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions shocked immigration advocates this week when he told immigration judges they could no longer grant asylum to most migrants who come to the U.S. trying to escape domestic abuse or gang violence.
Why? And how? As my colleague Jeff Gammage reports, the demand is made possible by the topsy-turvy world of immigration court, where young children can be forced to serve as their own lawyers and defendants generally don't have the right to court-appointed attorneys.
Last week, a federal judge ruled for Philadelphia in its "sanctuary city" case, saying the Trump administration can't deny the city law-enforcement grant money for its refusal to help enforce immigration laws.
Always nice to get a fresh perspective, @wickedawesometravels.
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