One year ago, almost to the day, Taylor Berry, who is now 16-years old, received his second heart transplant up in Houston. He's been back home ever since.
The first time KIII-TV Channel 3 News met Berry, he was four-years old. We've watched him grow into a teenager, and now at the age of 16, Taylor is a healthy young man who continues to overcome the odds.
Berry has a heart of gold attitude about life. Like any 16-year old, he loves sports; especially swimming.
Berry was training at the Club Estates Recreational Center on Wednesday, preparing for an upcoming swim meet in Victoria. He had his own fan club cheering him on, but his biggest cheerleader in life has been his mom, who he surprises everyday.
"He's paying things forward by volunteering, surfing, on the swim team," said Tamara Berry, his mother. "He's in high school and loving every day."
You could say Taylor is like a fish in water, living by his motto, "You're not alive if you are not living."
"You only live once. That's the way I see it," Berry said.
One year ago, a lap in the pool would never have been possible for the teenager. Berry's heart wasn't working. He needed a new one, and after months of waiting, and not knowing if he would receive a transplant, he got the operation.
The vital organ came from a 10-year old girl who passed away from meningitis.
"I just have to say thank you," Berry said. "It was a big loss they had, but it gave me another chance at life. I just appreciate it."
His mom said they are extremely blessed, and grateful for all the support they've received along the way from the community.
"I believe in miracles," Tamara Berry said. "Everyday is a miracle."
For now, he is focusing on his 50-meter freestyle as his swim team, the Corpus Christi Marlins, prepares to compete in Victoria this weekend.
"I just want to thank y'all so much," Berry said. "Without y'alls' prayers, I wouldn't be able to do this."
As for the scar on his chest, he said it's a part of him; a reminder of why he's here today.
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