NC dad of 2 with hole in heart holds out hope for transplant after almost 2-year wait

North Carolina news

HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — A High Point man is fighting to keep his heart beating.

Stephen Grace has been waiting almost two years for a new heart. In the last few months, his health has taken a turn for the worse.

“Not knowing how much longer I’m going to be around for or if that heart is going to become available, which would provide me a better life, not knowing if that’s going to happen, it can be tough,” said Stephen Grace.

Stephen was born with a hole in his heart and has battled heart problems his entire life. He can list off countless procedures he’s had to keep his heart pumping.

Married and a father of two little girls, the stakes are higher than ever.

“We were high school sweethearts so it’s hard to watch him suffer, but I know one day he’ll feel better and that’s why we are praying for a new heart,” said Kelsi Grace, Stephen Grace’s wife.

A new heart is Stephen’s best chance. Right now, he’s listed as a status four out of six on the transplant list.

“You know my condition, even though it’s bad, I’m not in the hospital dying so that’s kind of the problem,” said Stephen Grace.

Another problem is coming to terms with what has to happen for him to get a second chance.

“The fact that I have to have somebody else die to give me a heart so that I may live is a very hard thought to have every day and a tough prayer every day,” said Stephen Grace.

Even though his heart continues to give out, Stephen refuses to give up hope.

“Long term, I don’t know how things are going to turn out. I pray that we find a heart. I pray that I get better, but ultimately I know I’m going to go to heaven, so you know I’m in a good spot no matter what happens, but for my family, I would like to able to continue on,” said Stephen Grace.

Stephen’s family started a GoFundMe page with a goal of $5,000. His employer for the last 15 years, Carter Brothers Barbecue and Ribs in High Point, agreed to match that amount if they reached their goal.

The family passed their initial goal and are now trying to raise $7,500. If you are interested in helping you can donate to their GoFundMe page.

The Grace family is also holding a benefit sale from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Dec. 7 at Twin Decor Antique Mall and Design in High Point.

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