Brave boy Nathan Garcia, who defied the odds after being born with half a heart, loses lifelong battle

Headshot of Kate Campbell
Kate CampbellMidwest Times
Nathan Garcia
Camera IconNathan Garcia Credit: Facebook

A local family is in mourning after losing an inspirational loved one — 18-year-old Nathan Garcia, who was born with half a heart, battled rare diseases, and defied the odds after doctors warned his parents he probably wouldn’t live to see his first birthday.

Nathan’s mother, former Geraldton woman Monique Garcia, broke the news that Nathan had died in Bethesda Hospital in Perth on Saturday, just two months shy of his 19th birthday.

Tributes are flowing for the brave teenager, who left a lasting legacy, including The Nathan Project for Rare Diseases set up by Ms Garcia to help her son and other children with rare diseases who fell through the cracks of the health system.

Nathan Garcia and his mother Monique.
Camera IconNathan Garcia and his mother Monique. Credit: Facebook

Ms Garcia said her son was “the most incredible, soft, kind soul I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting” who could “turn any moment into a great moment”.

“Thank you for choosing me as your Mum,” she posted on Facebook. “The life Nathan and I lived was littered with obstacles, land mines and quicksand. Over 18 years, I overcame these barriers, encouraging Nathan to be happy all the while. I didn’t realise how beneficial this life could be for a life after Nathan. Already my brain has decided grief will not consume me.”

Last year, despite being in palliative care, Nathan lived out a dream by travelling to the US and meeting his favourite NBA player, Devin Booker from the Phoenix Suns.

His journey was also the focus of a documentary.

Nathan’s father Brian also posted a tribute to his son, saying “today has just become the worse day in my life ... last night Nathan (Bomber) Garcia, my brave son, passed away ... the boy they said take home at birth and let him die nearly made it on this earth for 19 years.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover the costs of Nathan’s funeral.

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