Despite being hooked up to chest tubes and surrounded by medical equipment a week after undergoing heart transplant surgery, 15-year-old Amari Hall couldn’t help but bust a move when his aunt walked into the room and dropped a beat.
Propped up in his hospital bed, the Baltimore teen’s face lit up as he started clapping his hands while his aunt, Charawn Hunter, and two nurses standing bedside cheered him on.
“There you go. There you go. There you go. Get ’em!” Hunter chanted. “You got to hit ’em!”
Hall’s dance moves were contagious — his nurses, dressed in full scrubs and surgical masks, even pulled up a song on YouTube to keep the dance party going.
A video of the uplifting moment went viral with nearly 22,000 views after Hunter posted it to Facebook on May 18, nearly two months after Hall received his new heart on March 25 at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore.
“When we’re together we like to dance and do all this crazy stuff,” Hunter told CBS News. “It’s my way of keeping him going.”
Hall was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a rare birth defect in which the left side of the heart is severely underdeveloped. He underwent three surgeries by the age of 2. During his second surgery, at just 9 months old, he suffered a stroke.
Last year, Hall’s health took a turn for the worse. A doctor told him he needed a new heart. His current one was failing.
“My nephew has been tired all of his life,” Hunter said. “But lately he had been sleeping and sleeping, not being able to get up.”
That’s why the sight of Hall dancing after his heart surgery brought her such joy.
“All of his life he could never do rollercoasters, run, play football — things other children can do,” Hunter said. “To see him dancing in that bed, because he has a new lease on life? That was amazing.”
The 15-year-old still has to go to the hospital every other week for checkups and he’s on anti-rejection medications, but his health has already drastically improved. It’s all thanks to a young male organ donor, who, Hunter said, is anonymous.
“He still pushes through. He still dances,” Hunter said. “Maybe this [organ donor’s] mother will see his dancing and she will know that this is her son’s heart. If it wasn’t for that boy, Amari wouldn’t be here today.”
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