MAYWOOD, N.J. – As a 15-year-old Maywood boy awaits a lung transplant, he is sharing his journey online to encourage others.
“The last three years I always talked about getting a lung transplant and now I’m going to follow my dream,” Jonathan wrote on a GoFundMe page that his aunt created to help him share his story and raise funds for his care.
Jonathan has cystic fibrosis, a chronic lung disease that forces him to be in the hospital “every month for 2 to 3 weeks, sometimes longer,” he wrote.
The disease causes his lungs and internal organs to fill with thick, sticky mucus, causing infections, trouble gaining weight and difficulty breathing, he explained.
At one point, he spent about eight weeks in an induced coma, he wrote. And when he woke up, “I started to think about the lung transplant more and more,” he wrote.
Jonathan wrote that he is sharing his story to “show people not to give up,” and show “all you need is hope and faith.”
In early June, Jonathan was transported to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where he was intubated because he could no longer breath on his own, his aunt Laurie Mazzotta LaVorgna shared.
“He was officially put on the transplant list and now we wait for new lungs,” she wrote.
Jonathan and his mother are staying at the hospital until his transplant, and then will stay for months afterwards, she explained.
Jonathan's GoFundMe page, created on Tuesday, had garnered nearly $15,000 in donations by Thursday evening.