CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – A 13-year-old Burlington boy is walking after heart transplant surgery earlier this month.
Albert Jeffries IV, who goes by Alj, is recovering in Chapel Hill and has been in the intensive care unit for more than 110 days.
“Kidneys are functioning at 100%,” his mom wrote on Facebook. “Heart is functioning on its own without any assistance, he’s regaining his strength . what else can I say .. Praise God …”
Earlier this week, his mother wrote: “A pivotal moment . Alj is pushing himself hard to get rehabilitate. He exercised and walked earlier with physical therapy but became frustrated when he couldn’t walk by himself. Tonight he asked if he could walk again . So with myself along with the wonderful nurses, we were so elated. Alj walked out of his room with his head held high and even asked us to let him go and with us barely holding on, he was trotting along. Once he got back to bed, he began to cry and said ‘I don’t feel short of breath, I don’t feel short of breath.’ His gratitude to life and simply just being able to breathe is just incredible. Nurse Kristi and I were just bawling at the mere fact that alj was so humble and appreciative.”