7 Images

A New Lease on Life

Nicole Draper holds her son, Nate, during a press conference in Los Angeles. Nate and his twin brother Nick have been released from UCLA Medical Center following months of recovery from heart transplant surgery. (Anne Cusack / LAT)
Mike Draper holds his son, Nick, while his daughter Caitlin touches Nick’s cheek. (Anne Cusack / LAT)
Cailtin Draper, age 6, says she is glad to go home to see her friends. Mike Draper holds Nick and Nicole Draper holds Nate. The family returns to Phoenix, Ariz., today. (Anne Cusack / LAT)
Alyssa Loosli, the twins’ aunt, sits with the boys after the press conference. (Anne Cusack / LAT)
The Draper family has stayed at Tiverton House, a hotel affiliated with the UCLA Medical Center, since January. The staff presents the Drapers with a cake to celebrate the twins’ release from the hospital. (Anne Cusack / LAT)
Caitlin Draper (left,) father Mike with Nick, and mother Nicole with Nate have endured months of uncertainty following the boys’ heart transplant surgery. UCLA physicians deemed the boys healthy enough to travel home, but they will need constant care and monitoring once there. (Anne Cusack / LAT)
Dr. Mark Plunkett, who performed Nick’s heart transplant surgery in February, was unable to make today’s press conference because he was in surgery. Instead, he dropped by the Drapers’ room to say goodbye. (Anne Cusack / LAT)