A Staten Island toddler who has been living in a hospital for months with an enlarged heart received a new heart over the weekend, his family said.
Jake Schron, who had trouble breathing and got easily fatigued because of his cardiomyopathy, has been living at Montefiore's Children Hospital in the Bronx.
After months of uncertainty over when he might receive a new heart, he finally underwent a heart transplant on Saturday. His family said the surgery went well and Jake was recovering at Montefiore.
Sandra Schron, Jake's aunt, said she was there when he woke up and heard his parents greet him for the first time after the surgery.
"What a beautiful moment to witness and thank the donor family for giving Jake a chance at life," she said.
Jake lived at the hospital with his mother by his side for more than three months until he received his transplant. Jake's father, Andrew, who has been sick from non-Hodgkin lymphoma, stayed at home with Jake's 3-year-old twin sisters.
Friends and family started a campaign called "Heart 4 Jake" to raise awareness and funds for the family. The campaign continues to touch hundreds across the country, including former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner.
Sandra Schron said Jake, who was in some pain after waking up, still faces a long road to recovery and doctors will have to monitor him closely over the next several days before they can talk about letting him go home. But the family is hopeful and grateful for the community's profound outpouring of love and support.
To learn more about Jake and his condition, visit heart4jake.org.
-- Pei-Sze Cheng contributed to this report.