17-year-old Jacob DeVries, of Chenango Valley has been fighting congenital heart disease for his whole life, but the weight of Jacob's load just got a little bit lighter and his future is now filled with promise, thanks to a selfless organ donor.

Jacob was born with congenital heart disease and while there had been some chatter about a possible heart transplant when he was just a baby, medication seemed to hold the problems with Jacob's heart at bay. Until all of a sudden, they didn't.

In April of this year, when his classmates were thinking about prom, graduation, and starting college in the fall, Jacob, his family, and his doctors were instead focused on keeping him alive. While Jacob had been doing so well for so long, one day he started having an awful time catching his breath and a visit to the doctor revealed the worst news - Jacob's heart was functioning at a dangerously low level.

Jacob was immediately admitted to Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital in Syracuse where he stayed for several weeks before being transferred to Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of New York-Presbyterian. It was at Morgan Stanley that Jacob's life would be ever changed. Jacob was placed at the top of the transplant list to receive a new heart.

Nikki Teed
Nikki Teed

On June 21st, Jacob's mom, Beth, wrote on the Facebook page that she created to keep family in friends in the loop with Jacob's journey,

So some of you know already but I needed to make sure my family knew before I put this on here. But. JACOB IS GETTING A HEART IN THE MORNING!!! Thank you so much for all your prayers, they have been answered. Please continue to pray for his surgery and recovery. We love you all!!! We could never thank you enough!!"

Jacob received his new heart on June 22nd and in her last Facebook update on Tuesday, June 29th, Jacob's mom wrote,

Yesterday was a good day. Not much to report. He’s still doing really good...They said the heart looked great and they are very happy with how things are going. We won’t know until Monday or Tuesday if there is any sign of rejection. So we just wait...."

Nikki Teed, cousin to Jacob's mom tells us that Jacob is a young man with huge dreams. Jacob has a larger than life personality, quick wit, and is both kind and compassionate. Once he gets better, Jacob has dreams to become rapper and thanks to the selflessness of an organ donor, he might just see that dream become reality.

If you've ever considered becoming an organ donor, you can learn more about how to make that happen here. And, if the thought of becoming a living donor by donating something such as a kidney or bone marrow has ever crossed your mind, we encourage you to read this.

Jacob isn't out of the woods yet, and he faces years of medical bills that most people can't even fathom. If you'd like to lend a hand to this young man financially, please reach out to Amy by calling 607-237-4894.

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