Burlington teen thrilled to be living normal life 11 weeks after heart transplant

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ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. – A Burlington teenager is thrilled to finally be living a normal life 11 weeks after a successful heart transplant. Now, he’s planning his fourteenth birthday party next Tuesday.

Alj Jeffries was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy when he was four months old. At the time, his family and doctors weren’t sure how long he could live.

Last year, 13-year-old Alj was hospitalized and doctors said a heart transplant was his only chance of survival. Finally, this past March, Alj had a heart transplant.

His mother Tina Turner announced this week they’ve now received three biopsies since the transplant, all indicating zero percent rejection of the organ.

“This means he's got a long life ahead of him,” Turned said. “They decreased his prednisone and he doesn't have to wear his mask as often, so he's much more free than he was before.”

So free, in fact, that Alj is making up for lost time. He’s playing outside, throwing his frisbee, and he rode his bike for the first time.

“I'm just amazed looking at him jump on trampoline or play with the basketball because before he wasn't able to do that so I'm just saying- live your life baby! Live it!”

Alj says he constantly thinks about the family who made this all possible.

“The thing that means so much about this heart to me was the donor... This heart will be living through me for a long time.”

He doesn’t know the donor family yet, but hopes to meet them one day.