CHARLOTTE, NC (WJZY) - They say miracles come when we least expect them. And for one Charlotte man his came on Good Friday as he and his family were at the hospital preparing for the worst.
FOX 46 sat down with Brandon McNeely who returned home with a new heart.
He is back home with his family after spending weeks in the Intensive Care Unit at Carolinas Medical Center.
"Even though my endurance is slowly coming back; stamina is slowly coming back, and just a long road to recovery. At least I have a road to recover on," McNeely said.
McNeely hasn't felt 100 percent himself since before the age of 11 when he was diagnosed Osteogenic Sarcoma, the most common bone cancer in children.
He underwent aggressive chemotherapy, but in turn he was left with a badly damaged heart.
In 2010 he was told he had just a few years left to live.
"It could be anywhere from two to five years, just depending upon how late I ate, how I kept myself, the medicine, things like that," McNeely said.
McNeely fared well, until about September when doctors told him it was time for a new heart - but there were no guarantees.
In January when his health took a turn for the worse, he and his family began preparing for his last days on Earth. That is until Easter weekend.
It was Good Friday and McNeely was sitting right outside the main entrance at CMC when he received the news he had been hoping for.
"The coordinator says, 'Hey, this is Caitlin. We have your heart.' I mean what could happen? Tears. I mean tears of joy. I mean tears of six years waiting," McNeely said.
McNeely finally had a second chance at life. He was wheeled into surgery at CMC the next day, and after spending weeks in the ICU recovering he's back home next to those who mean the most.
As for his future - he said you just never know.
"Who knows? I'm open to whatever. Who knows, maybe I'll be a NASCAR driver," McNeely said.
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