SPOKANE, Wash. - Being young is supposed to be easy.
But sometimes, things don't go as planned.
Five months ago, 16-year-old Christian came into Sacred Heart with what he thought was pneumonia.
“My grandma, she took me in to see a doctor.”
He didn't expect the news would change his life.
“They said my lungs were clear, but my heart was enlarged. Practically failiing.”
At 16, Christian's heart was barely functioning.
“So, I had to go into the hospital that day,” he said.
Doctors admitted Christian to the pediatrics intensive care unit, and put on a waiting list for a new heart.
Christian didn't know what to do. “I couldn't cry, couldn't laugh at anything,” he said.
No matter what age you are, having your world turned upside down is anything but easy.
I'm no stranger to having your heart turn your world upside down. Five years ago, my heart attack did just that. But I still can't imagine what Christian went through waiting to find out if he was going to get a new heart. Thankfully, he was at Sacred Heart.
Christian said, “They treated me like their own children.”
The caregivers at Sacred Heart and the Chldren's Miracle Network do everything they can to help ease the stay at the hospital for patients like Christian.
After 21 days of waiting, finally the news Christian and his family had hoped for.
A heart. For Christian.
With no more time to waste, he was rushed into surgery for a life-saving operation.
“I just feel thankful and grateful for the person who donated my heart,” said Christian.
Five months later, his heart is strong and he's ready to take the next step.
“I'm definitely going to do a lot more than I used to.”
Christian knows that now more than ever that being young isn't always easy. But, sometimes you get a second chance. And for Christian, every day now is a gift.