Have a heart: Teen gets transplant at UNC
Posted March 9
Updated March 10
Chapel Hill, N.C. — Albert Jeffries, 13, known to friends as "Al-J," got the greatest gift of all Wednesday – life – when a heart became available for transplant. Jeffries has been waiting for months at UNC Children’s Hospital, linked to life by the drip of a drug, Milrinone, which keeps his damaged heart pounding.
Al-J was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, or an enlarged heart, when he was four months old. He spent his childhood in and out of the hospital, but his heart became extremely weak in early December. Since then, he's been hospitalized hoping for a heart.
Al-J's mom, Tina Turner, said they both broke down in tears when they learned on Tuesday that a heart had become available. The surgery began at 10 p.m. on Wednesday and was a success, Turner said.
Doctors say once Jeffries receives a new heart, his chances of not only surviving, but thriving, are high.