UPDATE: McCallie student returns home after successful heart tra - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: McCallie student returns home after successful heart transplant surgery

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: McCallie student Will Hunt, who received a heart transplant in November of last year, is home.

Hunt's family confirmed the news of his homecoming.

A video of the 16-year-old singing Maroon 5's "She Will Be Loved" from his Vanderbilt hospital bed before the surgery went viral on social media, generating a lot of attention across the country.

Will's brother Mac Hunt posted the video online to wish Will a speedy recovery. Their McCallie classmates continued to share the video in hopes of catching Ellen's attention.

Almost a month after Mac's efforts began in October, the Hunt Family received news that Will would be getting the heart he was waiting for.

The surgery was a success and the teenager is back home in Chattanooga.


PREVIOUS STORY: Channel 3 has learned that McCallie student Will Hunt received the new heart he has been waiting for.

A message from The Bright School reads, "We are happy to let you know Bright School graduate Will Hunt is in the midst of his heart transplant. This good news is accompanied, of course, with our thoughts and prayers for the donor's family, who have suffered a great loss."

Channel 3 is informed Hunt is out of surgery and his new heart is beating on its own. A post from his family reads, "At 2 a.m. this morning Will went into surgery for his heart transplant. At 10 a.m. his doctors reporters that he was off the pump and his heart was beating on its own. Will is now out of surgery and headed to Vanderbilt Children's ICU with a brand new healthy heart. Prayers have been answered. And now, the healing can begin. #WillPower"

The Bright School is collecting donations and organizing a Thanksgiving dinner for the Hunt family while at the hospital.

"In any situation like this there's joy but also there's tragedy and sorrow and so we are thinking of that family as well," said OJ Morgan, head of the Bright School.

A video of 16-year-old Hunt singing at Vanderbilt Hospital was shared on social media and generated a lot of interest across the county, prompting a heartfelt response from Maroon 5's lead singer, Adam Levine.


PREVIOUS STORY: As Will Hunt recovers from his recent surgery, we're hoping his spirits are buoyed by the response his brother's Twitter posted generated from performer Adam Levine.

Hunt's soulful cover of Levin's "She Will be Loved" touched many hearts, with the YouTube video now viewed nearly 64,000 times.

Levine, who is a coach on NBC's "The Voice," got wind of Hunt's performance and took to Twitter to embrace Hunt:

It's hard to express with words what it feels like to know you've helped someone in this way. So instead, I'll just share. Nice job kid. :)

And Hunt quickly responded, “I can’t breath oh my god. Thank you so much I am your number 1 fan. This is CRAZY.” 


PREVIOUS STORY: A heartfelt video of a young Chattanooga man facing surgery continues to go viral. McCallie sophomore 16-year-old Will Hunt was diagnosed with heart failure. He recorded the video at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. It has been viewed on YouTube over 6,000 times.

Will's brother, Mac Hunt posted the video online to wish Will a speedy recovery. Their McCallie classmates continue to share the video in hopes of getting Ellen's attention.

The night before major surgery Will Hunt started doing what he loves most, singing. Sounds of his version of Maroon Five's "She Will be Loved" filled the ICU. “That is one of his favorite songs. He started singing with his dad on the guitar and Mac videotaped it. They put it on Twitter and it blew up,” said Will’s cousin Wyatt McVay. The YouTube video has been viewed and retweeted thousands of times.

“It is crazy. I always knew he would be discovered for his singing. But I never knew it would be like this.”

Will sings for the men's choir at McCallie. He and his best friend spend any free time they have singing. “I knew it, I knew it. Whatever condition he was in I knew that was one thing he would do, is sing,” said his best friend Cameron Stewart.

His buddies want to give him some encouragement and help make sure he fights through this difficult time.  “We support him, all of us love and care about Will,” said sophomore Harris Lail.

“I hope you get better and I hope you become famous like you always wanted to be,” said classmate Stuart McGuire.

Will still has a long road ahead. He remains in the hospital until he receives a heart transplant. “He's in good spirits, not sad. Always happy and laughing,” said his cousin.

The sophomores agree school isn't the same without him, and they're ready for his homecoming back to McCallie. “He is an inspiring person, a great person, with a great voice. Beautiful voice. He is a person that stands out,” said Stewart.

Will has performed in several McCallie talent shows, and his songs have been viewed by thousands on YouTube.  He's also on the Stingray's All-Star Cheerleading Team. 

The kids at Will's former elementary school, The Bright School, recorded a get well video featuring "Fight Song."

All of us here at Channel 3 wish him the best, and we hope to share the news of a successful heart transplant operation very soon.


PREVIOUS STORY: Will Hunt is a 16-year-old Chattanoogan who was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy (heart failure) which will require two surgical procedures to repair.

He recorded a video at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital's ICU, where he is scheduled for his surgeries, that's going viral.

He's singing "She Will be Loved," a song written and performed by Adam Levine and his band Maroon 5. Levine also is one of the judges on the NBC show "The Voice."

Hunt's surgery was scheduled for Tuesday and the second surgery will involve a heart transplant.

Hunt's brother, Mac Hunt posted the video earlier to wish his brother well. Both are students at McCallie.

He has also made contact with the social media team at The ELLEN Show, which airs weekdays on Channel 3 at 4:00.

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