Have a Heart - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Have a Heart

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WSVN -- Nate Martinez has always been a happy, healthy kid who enjoys hanging out with his brother and sister.

It wasn't until the family moved to South Florida his parents felt something wasn't right.

Dee Martinez: "We noticed he was sleeping so much and we were like 'Nate, what's going on? C'mon let's go.' He never wanted to do anything with us."

Then one night the 13-year old couldn't get out of bed.

Nate Martinez: "I had really bad chest pains and I couldn't breathe."

They ended up at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital.

Doctors couldn't believe what they were seeing in the echo-cardiogram.

Dee Martinez: "Your child has an enlarged heart and he should have been on the transplant list yesterday."

Dr. Steve Bidevski: "He wasn't even able to get out of bed, he wasn't able to eat his favorite foods, he was essentially bedridden."

He needed a new heart quickly. His parents were in shock.

Nate Martinez: "There's also always that possibility that you wouldn't make it."

Even though the entire family was scared, Nate seemed to remain strong.

Dee Martinez: "Looking at Nathan and knowing how much faith that he had, he wasn't scared and if he was he did a darn good job not showing it."

Within a month, a heart was available. But the news brought mixed feelings for his family.

Nate did have his transplant and it was a success.

Chris Mashburn: "We were able to put his heart in. It started beating on its own right off the bat."

Now several weeks out of surgery, Nate is back to doing what he loves.

Nate Martinez: "I love playing Xbox and video games and all that stuff."

The family is grateful for their son's second chance at life and will never forget the donor family who made it possible.

Nate Martinez: "I do think I'd want to meet the donor's family one day just to thank them."

To continue supporting families like Nate's, join WSVN as we take part in Tour De Broward. Walk, run or cycle to raise money for the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Cardiac Center.

The event is in February.

To sign up for the Tour de Broward

http://www.tourdebroward.com/

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