Lakeland teen recovering after second heart transplant - FOX 13 News

Lakeland teen recovering after second heart transplant

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GAINESVILLE (FOX 13) -

Garrett Leopold's mother says he's "doing great." Garrett is the 16 year-old Lakeland teen who underwent heart transplant surgery for the second time. His first transplant came as an infant.

The eight hour surgery lasted late into Monday night at Shands Hospital in Gainesville.

"The doctors said the heart was just an excellent match," says Garrett's mother, Susan Leopold. "They said he could have been born with it."

Garrett has been hospitalized for five months waiting for a donor heart. The call finally came early Monday morning: a heart had been located. The unidentified donor was brain dead and likely in the southeastern U.S. Organ donation officials wait six months before revealing any details to the recipient.

"We were thinking of the donor going into the operating room," says Susan. "I know Garrett was thinking about it deeply."

The family has talked often about the importance of organ donation. Garrett's life has now been saved twice by organ donors.

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