Doctor dressed as Chewbacca delivers heartwarming news to teen waiting for heart

Doctor delivers news to teen as Chewbacca

CHICAGO -- Austin Eggleston, 15, was in the hospital and running out of time.

"We had some deep, dark conversations," said his mother, Mary Anglin. "At the age of 15 you understand what's going on."

Born with a literal broken heart that required five surgeries and four pacemakers to keep ticking, Austin was in dire need of a transplant, waiting four months for a miracle at Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. Then his pediatric cardiologist walked in.

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Dr. Philip Thrush CBS News

Dr. Philip Thrush told Austin, a "Star Wars" fan, that when the news was good, he would deliver it in costume, as Chewbacca. When it finally happened, Austin had one incredible reaction.

"Wait. Wait. We got a heart? Do we seriously have a heart?" he said.

Pediatric wards are not always known for laugh riots, but Thrush does his best to loosen things up.

"I love it. This is the best part of what I do," he said. "To be able to go and tell a family and a child that they're going to have a new chance at life and a new heart is the most amazing thing that I do."

Hours later, his new heart arrived. The operation went well and Austin is taking it easy now. Incredibly, he could be home in a month.

"Once he heals up if he wants to, he can go skydive," said Anglin. When we asked if she would actually let him go, she said no. "But he'll be able to do anything," she added.

As for the long run? His mom says he wants to be a pediatric cardiologist. He'll just have to work on his wookie.

Learn about becoming an Organ Donor: Donate Life America , Gift of Hope.

  • Dean Reynolds
    Dean Reynolds

    Dean Reynolds is a CBS News National Correspondent based in Chicago.