CHESHIRE, Conn. (WTNH) -- He waited for months for it and even lived in the hospital; now a young Cheshire man has a new heart.
You first met 24-year-old Colby Salerno in the Cardiac ICU at Hartford Hospital back in January. A rare disease had weakened his heart.
"I live here for the time being and I just wait now for an organ to come in that will match me," Salerno said.
A perfect match was found on Monday and his mother got the news from Colby on the cell phone in tears.
"And he said Dr. Hammond had just called the nurses station and sent the nurse Sue into his room and she said it's time," said Kelly Salerno. "They found the most perfect heart for you Colby."
"This really could not have gone better," said Dr. Jonathan Hammond, Hartford Hospital Transplant Program. "The circumstances of the donation, coming from nearby, meant the donor heart could be up and running very quickly."
While Colby's family is uncertain of the donor's identity, the family of 18-year-old Jesus Vega who died Monday is confident the life-saving organ came from him.
Richard Caron is Jesus' father.
"I'm sad, I loved my son, but I'm happy he was able to help somebody else," said Caron. "I wish that he has a good life with that heart, and thinks once in awhile about who gave it to him."
His mother said the first words from Colby after the transplant were "I want to make my donor proud...he died young."
She went on to say, "the only thing I could tell all of you is we are so grateful to the family and all of his loved ones for giving our son the gift of life."
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