Austin Eggleston is no stranger to hospitals. In fact, he’s spent months at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, waiting for one critical piece of news.
The 15-year-old from Pontiac, Illinois, was born with a congenital heart defect that stops blood from being properly pumped throughout his body. It has also stunted his growth. However, it hasn’t stunted the teen’s spirit. After being placed on a heart transplant donor list, Eggleston spent four months at the hospital waiting patiently for a donor heart. During that time, he earned his reputation as one of the kindest and sweetest patients there.
“He’s the type of kid that, even when he’s sick, he brings a smile to your face,” said pediatric cardiologist Dr. Phillip Thrush.
When Dr. Thrush learned how big of a Star Wars fan Eggleston was, he decided to make him a promise: as soon as a heart donor was found, he’d personally deliver the good news dressed as Chewbacca. ↚
So when Eggleston heard that familiar Wookiee call on March 17 and looked outside his hospital room, he couldn’t have been more ecstatic. Learn more about his story below.