CBS4 FOOTBALL BLITZ: Broncos LB Shane Ray is the guest for tonight's taping at Viewhouse Centennial (More Info)

Teen Waits For New Heart, Latest In Family With Incurable Disease

By Kathy Walsh

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– A teenager from New Mexico is waiting in Colorado for a heart transplant. The operation is the only thing that will allow him to lead a normal life.

“It just felt like a flu virus. I couldn’t hold anything down,” said Angelo Jimenez.

angelos heart frame 793 Teen Waits For New Heart, Latest In Family With Incurable Disease

Angelo Jimenez (credit: CBS)

In March, that was the first sign of trouble for the 17-year-old. At a hospital in Albuquerque, tests showed Angelo had a condition called Dilated Cardiomyopathy.

“I was dreading that that was the answer they were going to come back with,” said Chris Jimenez, Angelo’s father.

angelos heart frame 943 Teen Waits For New Heart, Latest In Family With Incurable Disease

Chris and Angelo Jimenez (credit: CBS)

Chris was diagnosed with the same condition at age 30. The heart becomes enlarged and can’t pump blood efficiently. Six other Jimenez relatives have had it. There is no cure. It means medications and more.

“Doctors visits for the rest of your life, restrictions from every side you could think of pretty much … food, exercise, sunlight,” said 45-year-old Chris.

angelos heart frame 1462 Teen Waits For New Heart, Latest In Family With Incurable Disease

Chris Jimenez (credit: CBS)

When he was diagnosed, Angelo was airlifted to Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora. After six weeks, he and his dad moved into the Ronald McDonald House.

Angelo has an IV infusion pump to get critical medication. Now, he is on the list for a donor heart.

angelos heart frame 613 Teen Waits For New Heart, Latest In Family With Incurable Disease

Angelo Jimenez in the hospital (credit: Jimenez Family)

“Hopefully soon,” Angelo said.

“Hopefully it can get him back to normal and he can live a long, normal life,” Chris said.

angelos heart frame 1794 Teen Waits For New Heart, Latest In Family With Incurable Disease

Angelo Jimenez (credit: CBS)

angelos heart frame 1958 Teen Waits For New Heart, Latest In Family With Incurable Disease

Angelo Jimenez (credit: CBS)

Chris and Angelo miss family and friends in New Mexico, but they stay focused in Colorado on the promise of a better future.

The family has created a GoFundMe page to help with mounting medical bills.

angelos heart frame 133 Teen Waits For New Heart, Latest In Family With Incurable Disease

Angelo Jimenez (credit: CBS)

Kathy Walsh is CBS4’s Weekend Anchor and Health Specialist. She has been with CBS4 for more than 30 years. She is always open to story ideas. Follow Kathy on Twitter @WalshCBS4.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Denver

Weather App
Future Leaders
Together 4 Colorado

Watch & Listen LIVE