Jake Paul in Need of New Heart

5:12 PM, Jun 27, 2013   |    comments
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Charleston, SC (WLTX) - A 16-year-old Pelion teen is in need of a heart transplant.

Jake Paul has been in and out the MUSC children's hospital the last several months. It's a far cry from the life he was living just a few months ago.

The Pelion teen loves to spend his time fishing.  "He is already talking about mounting rod holders to the wheelchair if he has to" says his mom, Larenda. "He is going fishing."

Since he was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy late last year he hasn't been able to do much of anything outside of the hospital.

"Days are pretty long in here," Jake says. 

Those long days started back when his mom took him to the doctor thinking he had a virus, but it turns out it was much worse: Jake is in need of a new heart.

She said he had an irregular heartbeat so she set him up to go to Palmetto Heart Hospital and when he went there he immediately went to ICU and called MUSC to come transport him here.

Dr. Minoo Kavarana is the pediatric cardiac surgeon at MUSC's children's hospital.

"Since November he has had four admissions to the hospital for heart failure," Kavarana says.

He had the chance to be a part of a team that implanted a new FDA approved device into Jake called Heartware.

"The device is unique for children," Kavarana said. "It can be placed in the chest inside the heart."

This will allow Jake to leave the hospital until a heart becomes available, and be much more mobile than he would with older devices.

"I think it is a huge advance for the state of South Carolina- it is the first one implanted in the state and so I think it is a win, win on all accounts," Kavarana says. 

But this is just a temporary fix and there is still a long road ahead for the Paul family. "They hardest part is being here with him- 24 hours a day- 7 days a week," his mom says.

Jake is on the top of the transplant list and is working to gain some weight back to be fully ready for when that phone call comes in.

"We will be waiting," his mom says. "We are ready to go home, we want a break from here, but we will go to the Ronald McDonald House until Labor Day or until a heart comes in."

There is a benefit concert for Jake this Saturday.  David Cooler and the Sabin Sharpe Band will be playing in Pelion at 624 Forts Pond Road.There is a $10 donation at the door.

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