York’s Fourth-Grader Wesley Ethridge: Inspiring Journey of a Life-Saving Heart Transplant

York, Maine – Wesley Ethridge, a 10-year-old fourth-grader at Coastal Ridge Elementary School, has been named this year’s official Heart Hero for the American Heart Association’s Kids Heart Challenge. Wesley, who was born with congenital heart disease and underwent a heart transplant, shared his inspiring story with over 300 classmates at an assembly for CRES’s annual fundraiser. He was presented with a cape and received a standing ovation for his bravery.

CRES has been participating in the American Heart Association’s fundraiser for 25 years and has raised $16,000 so far this year. Wesley’s physical education teacher, Rich Johnston, was surprised when Wesley revealed his experience with the disease during a classroom discussion. Johnston then reached out to Wesley’s mother to invite him to share his story at the assembly. Wesley recounted his journey from his first surgery as a six-day-old baby at Boston Children’s Hospital to the challenging road to recovery that followed.

Despite his health challenges, Wesley remains positive and enjoys life to the fullest. He expressed gratitude for the support he has received from his family, friends, doctors, and nurses. Wesley’s story has become an inspiration to his classmates and teachers, proving that with determination and a positive attitude, anyone can overcome obstacles. As Wesley continues to grow, he will be closely monitored to determine if another transplant will be necessary in the future. For now, he is embracing every moment and cherishing the love and kindness that have helped him on his journey.

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