“You’re Going To Live!” 14-Year-Old Gets Miraculous Heart Transplant
Albert Jeffries, who goes by Al-J, was only 4 months old when doctors diagnosed him with cardiomyopathy, a heart condition that, according to doctors, meant he wasn’t going to make it.
“His heart was barely squeezing,” Albert’s mom, Tina Turner, told Fox 8 in December. “That was the beginning of our journey. The doctor said he wasn’t going to make it overnight. I was like—I know that there’s a God. He’s going to make it.“
Cardiomyopathy refers to diseases of the heart muscle. These diseases have many causes, signs and symptoms, and treatments.
In cardiomyopathy, the heart muscle becomes enlarged, thick, or rigid. In rare cases, the muscle tissue in the heart is replaced with scar tissue.
As cardiomyopathy worsens, the heart becomes weaker. It’s less able to pump blood through the body and maintain a normal electrical rhythm. This can lead to heart failure or irregular heartbeats called arrhythmias. In turn, heart failure can cause fluid to build up in the lungs, ankles, feet, legs, or abdomen.
The weakening of the heart also can cause other complications, such as heart valve problems.
Even with the hope of a heart transplant for her son, AJ’s mom still recognizes the pain from the potential donor as well. “Someone’s death is going to bring someone’s life,” she said. “I really hate that, I hate that part of it. We all do. But if it’s going to make Alj be with me and they can give that gift to me? I’d be so happy.”
From the age of 4 months to 14 years old, Albert, along with his family, battled and prayed, making the hospital a second home, all the while knowing that he was going to need a heart transplant.
Even while waiting on a heart, AJ started making plans.
“That will be amazing. I’ll get to experience being happy and doing whatever I want to do… I think I’ll play football when I…