June 10, 2018

My church family visited me. Since today is Sunday, they came after church ended. I’m not radically Christian, but after all that has happened, I do believe miracles happened (see June 13, 2018). My church family was really supportive of my heart transplant.

I also met Joe today. Joe is the father of Nicole. Camp Taylor posted about Nicole (see June 5, 2018). Nicole is in the hospital after complications after her 5th open heart surgery (see September 20, 2018).

Joe is a chef. He had a fast casual teriyaki restaurant chain in Southern California. He built his first restaurant by hand at 18. When Nicole asked her dad to be with him, he sold his restaurant chain to have more time with his daughter. Being in the hospital is a challenge, so you need to have as much support as possible.

Joe and Nicole have place their faith on God. They’re both radical believers. Although Nicole is 8, she has a boyfriend: her pastor’s son. Nicole is loved by God, and she is supported by her church family. When Nicole was in the hospital, her church family went in a circle prayed for her.

June 13, 2018

My church family visited me again at the Ronald McDonald House today. I go to a Chinese church, so they’re all Chinese. They brought porridge, eggs, and pastries.

I stopped going to church when I was in elementary school. I didn’t believe in God. However, last year I really needed help. My grandma prayed to God for my heart transplant. When my doctors said it was unlikely for me to get a heart, I really believed them. However I got a call two weeks later. That is a miracle by God. After surgery, I was in so much pain. It was unbearable and I felt sad. I asked the hospital preacher to pray for me. I’m not radically Christian, but I do believe God is watching over me.

My Mom took her church family to explore around the Ronald McDonald House’s surrounding area. Next to the house is a very expensive senior housing. Across the house is the Stanford Mall. Downtown Palo Alto is also a longer but walkable distance from the Ronald McDonald House.

One of the church members taught Angela and me how to cook Taiwanese chicken broth. Angela is my friend at the Ronald McDonald House. Angela’s mom really liked the recipe, although Angela may not be able to eat a lot of it. Angela can only eat a maximum of 20 grams of protein per day.

September 20, 2018

Nicole died today.

Nicole is a 10 year old girl battling heart failure and she’s been in the hospital since May. She was born with a non functioning right artery. As a result, she needed to replace her artery with a mechanical one. As she grows up, her heart grows too and she needs her artery replaced, thus this being her 5th open heart surgery.

In summary of her hospital stay, she didn’t wake up immediately from surgery. After she woke up, her kidneys started to fail, She had to be placed on dialysis. After that she had a stroke. The left side of her was completely paralyzed. As a last option, she was placed on the heart transplant list. She was monitored relentlessly by the doctors, but after her code blue today she didn’t make it. A code blue is an emergency situation announced in a hospital of a person in cardiac arrest.

Nicole’s dad owned multiple restaurant chains. At age 18, he built his own restaurant with his own hands. When Nicole asked him to be with her, he sold his restaurant chains and moved in to her city. Nicole’s sister suffered too. When she was offered to stay with her grandparents she said, “No. I want to be with Nicole.” Nicole was only 10, but she already had a boyfriend. He was the son of the pastor. Nicole was a devout Christian. Everyone in her town knew her, and her town’s church group stood in a circle for an hour praying to her. Tw days before today Nicole changed her name to Nicole Faith. The first thing her dad posted on FaceBook was “Nicole got her wings today”.

The worst my Mom and I thought Nicole would be is half crippled. We never expected her to pass. Next time at Stanford, Nicole won’t be in her room. She’ll be in a casket. In her room will be another patient.

You can help. 6,775 people die each day in the United States. If every one of them was an organ donor, Nicole would’ve been saved. Please register to become an organ donor. An inconvenience of a few clicks can save someone else’s life.

Follow the steps, and you can save another Nicole.

October 20, 2018

Today is my 16th birthday! My friend, Lydia, and I went to the Oakland Zoo to celebrate my birthday.

I specifically asked Lydia to celebrate my 16th birthday with me because I needed to tell her about my heart transplant. Lydia and I have been friends since 3rd grade, but we don’t go to the same school, so she really didn’t know what was going on.

She was pretty shocked. I guess it’s kinda weird for her to talk about it, since it is a heavy topic.

Last year October my grandma prayed for me. I remember she cried when my heart was failing. She believed that transplant would be my cure. She asked God “Please heal Justin before his 16th birthday.” After my 15th birthday I was evaluated for the transplant list. My grandma kept asking me whether or not the doctors accepted me onto the transplant list. A month later they called my Mom and told her I was denied.

Today is my 16th birthday. I’m grateful for my new heart.

December 30, 2018

I presented my testimony to church today. Here it is:

Hi, my name is Justin Wang and I’m 16 years old.

Last year I was on a ride home from a doctor’s appointment with my Mom. She said “Justin, your heart is failing and you need a heart transplant.”

Let me explain: I was born normal, which is even worse. If I was born normal, then wasn’t I supposed to live a normal life?

At the age of 2, I was diagnosed with hypereosinophilic syndrome.

Hypereosinophilic syndrome is a 1 out of 50 million people blood disorder. That’s EXTREMELY rare. One divided by 50 million isn’t even a decimal! It has to be put into scientific notation!

Why would God choose me to be the one out of the 50 million people to have this extremely rare blood disorder? Why not you?

I was only 2. There was nothing I did for me to deserve this as punishment.

By age 6, I had to have heart surgery to bypass the right side of my heart. Doctors at Stanford manually rerouted my blood vessels. It was painful.

I was mad. I was very mad. Why would God do this to me?

Last year, my grandma prayed for me. She asked God “Please let Justin have a heart by his 16th birthday.”

When I first applied for the transplant list, I was denied. The second time I was accepted. However, I was the lowest priority on the list. The doctors told me that I was there “for a taste” because there was no way I’d get a heart. The last time a person as low priority as me got a heart transplant was 4 years ago.

2 weeks later I got the call. There was a heart waiting for me.

That was a miracle.

I had so much joy. I thought, “There’s no way this is happening.” But it was real.

Remember when my grandma prayed for me? For me to have a heart before I turned 16?

Just like what David said in Psalm 34:4, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.”

After surgery, I was in horrendous pain. The worst pain imaginable.

That’s when I asked back to the question, why me? Why do I have to experience this pain? Why not you? Instead of anyone of you, why was it me?

The hospital has a chapel, and I often invite the pastor from that chapel to pray for me. Prayers gave me comfort through that pain that I would be healed.

After my heart transplant, I couldn’t go back to my house. I had to stay at a nearby housing facility, which is the Ronald McDonald House, for 3 months.

My TCCBC (Tri City Chinese Baptist Church) church family visited me at that nearby housing facility. I am so thankful for their caring, support, and prayers, because I needed it.

I met so many people at that housing facility that had chronic illnesses or diseases, and most of them believed in God.

That’s because God gives them hope, and hope gets them through hard times.

In Psalm 46:1-3, the bible says “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”

We may never know why we go through our hardships, but we can find comfort knowing God is watching over us. Without God, I wouldn’t have had a heart.

Right now I’m doing great. It’s been 6 months since my heart transplant, and I couldn’t be better. Everyday I swim, which I couldn’t before. Make-A-Wish is also sponsoring me to make a cookbook. I’m going to publish it, and it’ll help other kids with heart defects.

What is my future? My future will be amazing. I’m going to go to University, have a great partner, and be participating in triathlons. All because of God, this is possible.

Everyone loved my testimony! The people at church applauded me. Everyone in my Sunday school also loved my testimony. They said it was inspirational.