Friday, 5 August 2016

fitness model wears his heart in his backpack

Andrew ‘AJ’ Jones is proof that a terminal illness should never stop you from doing what you love most.
The fitness model was told he’d need a heart transplant last year and was given a device which acts in place of his heart, pumping blood around his body. He carries this around in a battery-powered backpack.
Jones is on a waiting list for a heart transplant, but he doesn’t let that stop him from continuing his fitness regime and pursuing his dreams.
The 26-year-old, who describes himself as “the best-looking zombie you’ll ever see”, has amassed a large Instagram fan club by inspiring others to take control of their lives and their health.

Jones first became passionate about fitness in 2009 when he began college.
“I found that I could work out and relieve my stresses of the day at the gym on campus,” he told The Huffington Post UK.
“I loved the way it made me feel and the way it made me look. I remained consistent and passionate and my discipline and patience grew - and those qualities began to reflect in everything I did.”
In 2015, Jones suffered breathing difficulties and began coughing up blood.
He was rushed to hospital and diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a disease in which the muscle wall of the heart becomes thickened - resulting in the organ’s demise.
The 26-year-old fitness model from Connecticut was put on a transplant waiting list and given a left ventricular assist device, which does the job of an artificial heart and helps pump blood throughout the body.
At night, he keeps himself alive by plugging his device in to charge - just like he’d charge a mobile phone.
He said that despite his bleak prognosis, there was “no cause for alarm” and he was still able to continue training - albeit slowly.
“I still felt resilient,” he said. “I felt like nothing could beat me because I was still able to run, lift and participate in the activities that I loved.”

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