HISD student receives new heart with support from Waltrip HS band

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- It took a heart from a stranger to save the life of a Houston boy.

Jose Tovar once feared he might not live to see 16. He was born with a heart defect. He had three open-heart surgeries before age 4.

"He's our only child. It's pretty scary," said his mother Veronica Tovar.

Since January, Jose has been hospitalized, with his heart growing weaker. The Waltrip High School drummer had to keep up with his studies while struggling with his health.

RELATED: Waltrip HS band rallies around teen needing heart transplant

After almost six months on the transplant list, last week he got the call they'd been praying for.

"I just couldn't really believe it. I just felt this weight come off of me," said Jose.

The transplant then began quickly. After a 12-hour surgery, his mother got this text from nurses: "The heart is in and is beating."

They don't know where the heart came from or what happened to the person who had it. But they're grateful.

"Knowing that they had to lose somebody. I'm so grateful that they decided to help and give a life to somebody else," sad Veronica.
Jose credits the Waltrip high band for keeping his spirits up. They rallied around him, raising thousands of dollars to offset medical bills.

He knows what's beating in his chest gives him another chance at life.

"Just thank you, for the other life," he said.

Jose plans to do big things, well beyond his drumming.

"I feel like i have to do something like give back or something," he said.

He says he owes it to whoever gave their life so he can live.

Jose's mother has been unable to work for the last five months because he has been so ill. If you'd like to donate to the GoFundMe account set up to aid with medical expenses, follow the link here.

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