HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — A High Point teen is celebrating her eighth-grade graduation a little over a month after having a heart transplant.
14-year-old Journee Dumas started 2022 learning she had a life-threatening condition.
In December, she was hospitalized. Doctors had diagnosed her with cardiomyopathy — a disease that makes it harder for the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body.
Two months after having surgery to get an artificial heart, Journee got the news she had been waiting for. Her doctors told her they found her a new heart, and they were scheduling her for surgery the following day.
The new heart she needed came at the perfect time.
When Journee went into the hospital in December of last year, she says it was always her goal to be home in time for her eighth-hrade graduation at Cornerstone Charter Academy. She just wasn’t sure if it would happen.
“I honestly thought I would still be in the hospital” Journee said.
On Friday, she got to cross the stage with her classmates and get her diploma. It was a priceless moment and stark difference from her life three months ago when she spent her days in a hospital bed hooked up to machines and waiting for a new heart.
“She ran through the door, so I automatically thought something was wrong, so I jump up and I’m like ‘what’s wrong?’ And she’s like ‘mom, they have my heart,’ and I was like ‘what?’ And then I looked over to my left, and I saw the whole transplant team, and I just broke down.” said Journee’s mom, Rejoice.
“Through this whole process, I just kept reminding her ‘this is your name for a reason. Anything you go through, you can get through,’ and that she did.” Rejoice said.
Now that she’s home, Journee is looking forward to getting back into her normal routine, sleeping in her own bed and taking showers without being hooked up to machines.
She’s also looking forward to not missing anymore big moments in her life.
Journee’s family is still working to pay off medical bills that accumulated during her four and half month stay at the hospital.
To help with the costs, they’re hosting a community ball and silent auction on Saturday, June 18 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Golden Doors located at 2025 Brentwood St. in High Point.
Tickets are $10 for ages 5 and up.