These Heartwarming Photos of a Boy With a Rare Heart Condition Getting a Corgi Will Make Your Day
The photos of Austin Lewis and his puppy, Gatsby, are sure to put a smile on your face.
Austin Lewis is a 13-year-old from DeSoto, Texas, who was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. In spite of his health, Austin is a happy young man, whose dream is to become a chef and whose favorite pastime is watching cooking shows on YouTube. And it was on one particular YouTube channel, Life After College, that he saw a corgi named Gatsby and fell in love with him. All Austin wanted was to have a puppy just like him and when his wish came true at the end of October, it was truly magical (as you can see from this heartwarming video and the following photos).
The look on Austin's face when he first saw his very own Gatsby is just the definition of pure joy.
He was so happy, he couldn't stop crying. The surprise caught him completely off guard.
Austin had told Jennifer Strong, his child life assistant at the hospital Children's Health, that one of his biggest wishes was to get his own corgi—his other wish was to meet celebrity chef Bobby Flay—so Strong contacted the Marty Lylons Foundation and enlisted their help finding a tri-color Pembroke Welsh corgi puppy for him.
When they succeeded, Strong made a plan for the big reveal. "I brought in a Wheel of Fortune that spelled out 'Let's Meet Gatsby,'" she told Best Life. "I think he thought he was going to get to meet the corgi that was on the internet. So when he found out she was his dog, it was magical."
"He was so excited that he was in tears," Austin's mom, Jennifer Lewis, told Best Life. "It's been a blessing."
It's a win Austin needed and definitely deserved.
While she was pregnant, Lewis found out that Austin would have hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a complex and rare congenital condition that prevents the left side of his heart from effectively pumping blood into his body.
"The doctor told me he had a 50/50 chance to live and gave me the option to either abort or carry him to term and see how far he makes it," Lewis said. "As you can see, 13 years later, he's still fighting."
Sadly, following multiple surgeries, Austin still has many serious health issues, including scoliosis and lung and muscle diseases.
Due to some of these complications, he longer qualifies for a heart transplant. "He wouldn't make it through the surgery," Lewis said. "We're praying for miracles but, basically, we're just waiting until God calls his name."
However, the Lewis family chooses to focus on the positive and they're enjoying every minute they're able to share together, including those with Gatsby.
As you can imagine, only a week in, Austin and Gatsby are practically inseparable. "He loves her so much," Lewis said. "They're best friends."
After all, there's no better companion than a dog, especially when times get hard. For proof of this, check out Photo of Dog Sleeping on Late Owner's Prosthetic Leg Goes Viral.