DUBLIN, Ga. — It was a special day for 6-year-old Jaden Carswell.
"It was a great anniversary, and I wanted to draw a picture to celebrate you all and that I love you all," he said.
He got the surprise of his life with a 4th 'Heartiversary' party.
"It's when my classmates celebrate me because I'm the only one of the students who has a new heart," Carswell said.
Unlike most kindergartners, Carswell has lived with heart problems.
His grandmother Deme Smith says they found out during his mother's five-month sonogram.
"He had not developed all of his pumping chambers to his heart, so the chances were that upon being born, he would have to have a pacemaker," Smith said.
For the first three years of his life, Carswell was deathly sick with the flu and went through a three-stage surgery before doctors decided he needed a heart transplant.
"We got the phone call while we were there in house at the hospital on November the 5th, 2015 if there was a heart available," Smith said.
Now, his teachers and classmates are celebrating his 4th year of no rejection.
"To see him from the first day, until now, the progression that he's made academically. He's writing his ABCs perfectly. He's identifying them. His numbers, he's writing his numbers," Kindergarten teacher Asa Chapman said.
"It took having to see someone else go through so that he could live, but he did, so we thank God," Smith said.
"I want people to know that having a heart is great -- you can play, it gives you the energy to run all day and play all day," Carswell said.
Carswell's classmates made cards for him.
Each of the students told Carswell how much he means to them.
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