Local News

Have a heart: Teen gets transplant at UNC

Posted March 9, 2016
Updated March 10, 2016

— 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.


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  • Janet Ghumri Mar 10, 2016
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    So glad to see the (teeny tiny) update. He made it through the valley, hopefully it will be sunshine from here on out. Many prayers, Little man

  • Marcy Lyn Mar 9, 2016
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    Many Prayers .....

  • Betsey Duggins Mar 9, 2016
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    May the surgeons have great skill and the patient great response to his new heart. And God bless the donor's family, for without your generosity during your time of grief, this miracle would not be possible. God Speed to all.

  • John Snow Mar 9, 2016
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    Al j, it sounds as if you have endured more in your 13 years than most people do in a lifetime. I am hoping that you wake up tomorrow with a fresh start and those hard times will be behind you. Good luck.

  • Linda Cencelewski Mar 9, 2016
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    I'm praying for you Albert, your family and the transplant team. God bless you.

  • Janet Ghumri Mar 9, 2016
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    Best wishes, little man! Stay strong and keep the faith. I hope WRAL gives updates on you. I believe that you are going to be just fine!