Teen with transplanted heart returns to class

Teen with transplanted heart returns to class

In December, we told you about Shawn Byrd, a high school student with Marfan Syndrome. The disease affects connective tissue in the body, especially in the heart.

After battling the condition all his life, Shawn got a new heart at the end of November.

He's still recovering, but Shawn is strong enough now to return to class part-time.

At 8 a.m., the Central Fellowship freshman makes his way to class, with the help of his father, Wes.

"It was just cool coming back to school and seeing all my friends and seeing the teachers," says Shawn. "Having everybody say 'Hey' and seeing everybody that prayed for me."

Shawn was diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome at age 3. He had 3 heart surgeries in 2016, but it didn't fix the problem.

"I just started feeling worse and worse and worse," he says. "And we go back and I'm apparently in congestive heart failure."

Shawn needed a new heart. A match was found and he got a transplant on November 30th.

"Recovery is hard. I'm still recovering, obviously," says Shawn. "I get tired really fast, I get exhausted extremely easily."

But he was ready to get back in the routine. Shawn lifts his 6'5" frame out of his wheelchair and into a desk. He's getting caught back up in biology.

His teacher tells Shawn what they covered the day before. Shawn says he's on top of it.

"You read through it?" she asks. Shawn says yes, he won't be behind for long.

And his friends were happy to see him.

"When we saw him, it was really surprising," says 8th grader Kristan Hart.

"It was awesome to see him back at school after being in the hospital for so long," Gracie Lozano agrees.

"I think everybody was pretty excited because they hadn't seen him in a while and a lot of people were praying for him," says Stan Compton.

And Shawn is thankful for those prayers.

"Thank you for all your support, all your prayers, just everything you've done for me and my family," Shawn smiles.

The Byrd family is looking for support with the medical bills from Shawn's heart transplant. Click this link if you'd like to help.


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