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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Amazing scenes as US high school brings diploma to meet 18-year-old boy who underwent a heart transplant on his graduation day

18-year-old, Joseph Bommarito Autman was surprised with a graduation ceremony in the hospital after he missed his graduation day because of his heart transplant surgery.

Autman has struggled with a heart condition called congestive heart failure since his birth. He has a serious condition where the heart does not pump blood in a normal way, resulting in blood returning to the heart faster than it can be discharged.

“I wasn’t even expecting it. They woke me up and said, ‘Put your cap and gown on,” he said. Before turning 4, Autman had to undergo four heart surgeries due to his condition and was placed in a foster care home at the age of six before a family adopted him.

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Autman foster mother, Sjana Autman described how his ailment left him with half a heart and posed other challenges for the teenager, including learning and writing problems.




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“The congestive heart failure, only having half a heart, caused a lot of difficulties for Joseph. Learning difficult, writing difficulties. He never wavered in trying. He had to try harder than the other children,” Sjana said.

Autman was surprised with his graduation surrounded by his family, friends, and the staff from the hospital with his teacher presenting him with his diploma.

The commemoration did not only serve fro his graduation but also for  his recent heart transplant, which he received after only a few months rather than years of waiting.

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According to his pediatric cardiologist, Dr. Natalie Shwaish, a kind donor provided the heart. When I got on the transplant list, they said it could take up to years, decades to get new hearts,” he said. “It took me like a couple months and here I am with a new heart,” he said.

Autman mentioned that he plans to attend college, but , he has to first spend a few weeks in the hospital before returning home due to his condition.

 “I could not have done this by myself. I don’t think anyone could have done this. It’s a culmination of many people’s efforts. This has given me a second wind, not as much of a second chance, but a second wind. Now, I get to have a new drive and new passion again,” he said.

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