CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - At just four years old, Taylor Berry underwent his first heart transplant. Years later at 15, Berry underwent his second; six years later at 21, Taylor is getting his third heart.
Taylor's dad Dale Berry says his son was born with an enlarged heart, leading to years of surgeries, procedures and recovery. Due to complications with the first and second hearts, Berry, a Corpus Christi native, was recently hospitalized in Houston.
"It's taxing, it's very much is taxing, emotionally, physically, spiritually," Dale Berry says.
Taylor has been on the transplant list for 18 months, and in a Houston hospital for two. On Friday December 15, Dale received a life-changing call.
"'Hey dad whatcha doing, like oh yeah I'm watching some football games too, how's this team winning who do you think's gonna win, oh yeah I think I'm gonna get a heart tonight,' shouldn't you lead with that!" says the father.
Dale drove to Houston, joining his son's side along with Taylor's mother, relatives, friends and his doctor's from Corpus Christi.
"Oh it's a roller coaster, because you get up here and wait," Dale says.
Berry adds it's all a waiting game; waiting for the heart to arrive, waiting for the surgery to begin and waiting for it to end.
"We're looking at a 16 to 20 hour surgery, so we'll be up there exhausted."
Taylor's father says it's his spirit and will to live life to the fullest that gets him through the tough times. He also is ready to return to his normal activities like surfing and attending college.
"Taylor's an inspiration for everybody in our family," Dale adds.
Taylor's surgery will last overnight and will have to recover in Houston but when he's cleared, the 21-year-old will return to his hometown and continue the life a man his age should live.
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