CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s a video that’s hard to forget.
15-year-old Austin Eggleston being told by his cardiologist, dressed as Chewbacca, that he’s getting a new heart.
That was almost two weeks ago.
As CBS 2’s Mai Martinez reports, Austin can’t wait to go home.
Austin Eggleston has a lot to smile about these days.
So do his parents and doctor.
At the top of the list is a successful heart transplant.
And so far, a smooth recovery.
“This gives me a chance to live a normal life. I’m going to be able to graduate,” says Eggleston. “I am going to be able to do all the things normal teenagers should be able to do now.”
But it’s not lost on Austin or his family that as they celebrate, his donor’s family is grieving.
“You can’t say thank you,” says Mary Anglin, Austin’s mother. “You can’t ever express the gratitude that you have, but we want to share our story in hopes that maybe one more person will consider organ donation.”
Now that he has a new heart and a new lease on life, Austin is making plans and thinking about the future.
“I’m actually signed up to do driver’s ed in the summer,” he says with a smile.
He’s excited about that and his new found fame, thanks to the popularity of Dr. Chewbacca video.
The Star Wars fan says the coolest part about that was a tweet by actor Mark Hamill who played Luke Skywalker, mentioning Austin by name and quoting him.
And while Star Wars characters entertain him, it’s real life heroes that inspire him.
When asked what he’d like to be when he grows up…
“Preferably a pediatric cardiologist,” he says.
No doubt thanks to his special doctor.
Austin is expected to be discharged early next week.
Then he’ll spend some time at the Ronald McDonald house, and then hopefully head home.