Jose Tovar, a sophomore at Waltrip High School, was born with a heart defect. He had three open-heart surgeries before age four.
Just last month, after a day in which the "Ram Band" performed in two competitions, Tovar says he felt unusually tired.
The next day he was admitted to the hospital and doctors told him his heart was failing.
"I'm just really frustrated. I can't be with the band, and my friends and at school," said Tovar.
The Waltrip band dedicated this marching season to Tovar. They've taken up collections and even helped set up a Go Fund Me account to help cover the cost of mounting medical bills.
"The kids - they've really been touched by the whole situation," said Waltrip High Band Director Jesse Espinosa.
Tovar is too sick now to even be at school. Doctors want him resting.
"I wish I could give him my heart. But Jose asks us: If you give me your heart, where are you gonna go. You know?" said his mother, Veronica Tovar.
She says bills could total well over $1 million.
Veronica works and so does Jose's father. They have medical insurance but they don't know yet what all might be covered. "I don't even know what to expect. It's so expensive," she said.
Doctors cannot say how long it might take before Tovar gets his new heart. If you are willing to help donate toward his medical expenses, you can go to a Gofundme page set up to support the family.