Burlington teen says he feels like ‘a new person’ after heart transplant

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- A Burlington teenager is recovering at UNC Children's Hospital after a successful overnight heart transplant.

Today is the 100th day 13-year-old Alj Jefferies has been in the hospital. But unlike the other 99, this is the first day of his new life with a new heart.

"To find out my baby has gotten his new heart this morning, it was amazing!" said Alj's mom, Tina Turner. "Before he went to sleep before the surgery, he told the anesthesia and doctors, 'I believe in you,' so that was the last thing he said before he went to sleep to get his heart. I believe in you."

The doctors and nurses he believed so strongly in spent about six hours in surgery overnight, Turner said.

The whole time, they were also thinking about and praying for the donor's family. They don't know anything about him or her.

Dr. Scott Buck told FOX8 three months ago Alj could be compatible with a child or small adult's heart.

"Somewhere in this world, your child or your family member is still alive through my son. That is amazing. Everybody, please, consider being organ donors," Turner added.

In the video above, Alj tells his mom he feels like "a new person."

They found out this week a heart was on the way.

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