By Luke Kento
After enduring five open heart surgeries and an agonising four-month wait, this adorable Star Wars fan jumps for joy as his surgeon – dressed as Chewbacca – surprises him with a new heart.
Born with three congenital heart defects, Austin Eggleston, 15, underwent five open heart-surgeries and through four pacemakers before doctors told him a new heart was his only chance of survival.
Placed in the care of Lurie Children’s Hospital, in Chicago, the teenage Star Wars enthusiast waited a painful four-months of desperately hoping for a life-saving intervention, before a familiar figure emerged in the room on March 17.
Promising to deliver the good news dressed as Chewbacca, Austin’s surgeon, Dr. Philip Thrush, can be heard ‘growling’ as he pokes his head through the door of the teenager’s ward.
First taken aback by the presence of the iconic character, suddenly his surgeon’s promise dawns on him, as he exclaims ‘Holly balls’, before erupting into a victory dance and flinging himself into Philip’s arms.
Austin’s mother, Mary Anglin, said: “Waiting for a new heart was sometimes extremely hard both mentally and emotionally.
“We had some deep, dark conversations.
“At the age of 15 you understand what’s going on.”
Undergoing the surgery on March 20, Austin was discharged two weeks later and is recovering well at home.
Julie Pesch, a spokesperson for Lurie’s Children’s Hospital of Chicago, said: “Austin was placed on a heart-transplant list four-months-ago.
“As promised, Dr. Thrush arrived dressed as Chewbacca to tell Austin they’d found a donor.
“The transplant was successful and now Austin hopes to return to school and resume life as normal.
“As normal as it can be, since he said ’90 percent of the world has now seen me in my boxers’.
“Austin and his family are forever grateful to the donor family who gifted Austin life and hopes his story brings awareness to encourage others to become organ donors.”