A Texas teenager has credited God for the rare heart surgery that saved his life.
Jordan Merecka, 17, was born with his heart located on the wrong side of his chest. After being placed on a heart transplant list, the teen's condition took a turn for the worse in April.
In the nick of time, an artificial heart was made available to Texas Children's Hospital. Merecka is now one of only three patients nationwide with an artificial heart.
"Before we went ahead with this operation, his heart had completely failed. I would say that without this device he probably wouldn't have been alive another 24 hours," said Dr. David Morales, a pediatric cardiovascular surgeon.
Merecka's new mechanical heart gives him time to wait for a heart transplant.
"So this is the backpack we were talking about and this will take the place of big blue over there," his doctor said. "Just 3-4 years ago, if you had this device, you had to stay in the hospital."
But Merecka will be able return home. He said the pumping sound his new heart makes doesn't bother him a bit.
"It never really bothered me. In fact, it's almost comforting. You hear it and you know it's still pumping," he said.
A month ago the teenager couldn't get out of bed. Now his doctors say he can walk about a mile.
He's given God all the glory, saying that "through Him all things are possible."
In time Merecka will have a donor heart transplant. But for now, he has other plans.
"Once I get out of the hospital I plan on attending A & M University Galveston and studying marine biology," he said.
Merecka's family says that they're just ready to have him home.
Texas Children's Hospital is the first pediatric hospital in the U.S. to successfully implant an artificial heart.