Heart donation recipient greeted by donor family on graduation stage

KTUU | Travis Khachatoorian
ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - After countless hours of studying, students of Eagle River High School received their diplomas Tuesday, but for graduating senior Shawn Stockwell, the hardest tests of his life were nowhere near the classroom.

Stockwell was born with a life-threatening heart defect known as hypo-plastic left heart syndrome. His mother Trista Stockwell said the condition was so serious, she was told by multiple doctors her son had a small chance of survival.

“We had never imagined our son would graduate high school, ever,” said Trista Stockwell, who found herself crying during the ceremony as her mind flashed back to memories of hospitals and ambulance rides.

More than a decade ago, Stockwell and his mom went to California in hopes of receiving a heart transplant. The donation didn’t come fast, but eventually Stockwell received a healthy heart from a seven-year-old boy named Carson Bosley, who died of a brain aneurysm.

The donation was a risky operation but ultimately successful. Continue reading

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