Burlington teen happy, healthy 2 years after heart transplant

BURLINGTON, N.C. -- Two years ago, a Burlington mom received a call she will never forget. A nurse told Tina Turner that her son would be getting a lifesaving transplant he waited nearly 100 days for.

“Totally the best day of my life.” Turner said.

Her son Albert Jeffries, who goes by Alj, was diagnosed with a heart disease when he was only a few months old.

FOX8 has been following his journey for years. We saw when his mother told him the wait for a new heart was over. We were also there when Alj met his donor’s family.

Now, Alj is a freshman at Cummings High School. We met him at school Friday afternoon to see how he is doing.

“Everything is completely different,” Alj said. “I've been able to do things I never could and I've just been happy.”

“He's been full of life and full of energy,” his mom said.

Alj is able to plays sports without losing his breath. He played some basketball after school Friday.

“I could do this all day,” Alj said.

The teen is now focused on his future. He hopes to one day become a video game designer.

“For anyone who is waiting on something for them to survive, I want them to not give up either,” Alj said. “Make sure they have faith and hope.”

Turner says she is planning a special trip to the beach with her son to celebrate his two-year transplant anniversary.

She says Alj’s recovery is still not over though. He needs to take medication regularly and gets a biopsy done annually. She says he needs to take care of his new heart.