NEW KENT, Va. (WRIC) — A few months ago, Juan Jones didn’t know if he would ever leave UVA hospital.
Jones was hooked up to machines, wearing a mask and waiting for a new heart the last time he was at UVA hospital
“I got through everything. I just have to keep pushing to the end. I’m almost there. I just had to stay mentally focused,” Jones said to 8News.
After 13 hours of surgery, Juan received a new life.
“I felt truly blessed to finally get a heart,” said Jones.
Months after the transplant, Jones once again walks the halls at New Kent High School catching up with friends.
“I feel like I’m back home again so I feel like I’m reunited with everybody,” Jones explained.
Jones’ new normal now consists of taking several medications daily and staying active.
“I feel better than I was before. The only thing about it. I’m just out of shape. If I run for a long time. I’m tired.”
Jones sent a letter to the donor’s family in New York.
“If it wasn’t for their loss I would probably still be in the hospital or deceased. And I will take care of this heart. I will do my very best,” Jones said.
Jones is a standout athlete, playing football and wrestling, and can’t wait to return to the field.
“This happened for a reason. And I think it’s a good reason. I know it’s a good reason,” Jones said.
Jones is finishing up his sophomore year now and went to prom earlier this year.
According to the DMV, nearly five million people are registered as organ donors in Virginia.
Many of those donors could help people just like Jones.