Family celebrates as Burlington teen graduates from high school 5 years after heart transplant

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BURLINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) — Graduation from high school is milestone for every teenager, but, for Albert “Alj” Jeffries, it’s a day that was far from guaranteed.

Alj has gone through life-changing experiences that most could only imagine, all before the age of 19.

Five years ago, Alj underwent a heart transplant surgery that saved his life. FOX8 has been keeping up with him throughout the years, and he has now shared another milestone with the Triad.

Alj has graduated.

He said dealing with virtual learning during a pandemic has been mentally demanding but has allowed him to grasp technology on another level, game creating.

He has been working on a computer game for a class called “Split” and is ready to entertain the world of video game players with unique and innovative ways to stimulate their minds.

“I’m ready to graduate,” he said before the big day. “I’ve already chosen a career of gaming design, so I’m ready to take that path.”

At 10 a.m. on June 4, Alj graduated from Hugh Cummings High School in Burlington.

He plans to continue his education journey at Guilford Technical Community College where he will study gaming design.

Alj hopes his journey and bravery will inspire others to become organ donors to help save lives, just like his was saved by someone he never knew and now will never forget.

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