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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – There’s a little guy at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas who looked kind of blue before his latest surgery. Heart problems left Stark Novak weak and actually turning the color blue. Doctors were afraid they might lose him.

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But, the outcome of the two-year-olds surgery was greatly changed after another family; just days before Thanksgiving, decided to selflessly give the gift of life.

Stark was born with a congenital heart defect. Knowing their son would someday need a transplant they named him stark, after the Iron Man comic book character Tony Stark.

“So, he’s named after a superhero and he’s our very own superhero,” mom Salem Novak said proudly.

Four days before Thanksgiving, and on his father’s birthday, Stark received a transplanted heart. While the procedure has become commonplace, the process of actually getting a heart is difficult. Waiting for a heart is very unpredictable, with some children sitting on the list for as long as a year.

That wasn’t the case for this little North Texas boy. Stark received his new heart after only six weeks.

Stark’s family knows nothing about the donor. Salem Novak knows that great joy often comes after great pain. “As we’ve progressed every day, and we’re celebrating his new shot at life, we’re very aware that there’s a family out there that gave us that shot. “We’re going to do everything to take care of this gift.”

Doctors had serious concerns before the transplant. Stark had acute signs of heart failure.

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Doctor Bibhuti Das, a pediatric cardiologist at Children’s, knew the odds. “The risk of sudden death was very high,” he said. “He [Stark] was incredibly sick.”

Now, Stark is no longer blue in the face and lips. His color is a healthy pink and the doctors say he’s doing better than they expected. Doctor Das took no credit. “His post-transplant course is actually a miracle.”

Doctors and family now wait and hope Stark’s body won’t reject the heart and that he’ll be able to go home soon.

Stark is the 199th child to receive a transplanted heart at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas. There are currently 14 other children on the heart transplant waiting list.

2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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