LITCHFIELD, Minn. (KMSP) - An eight-year-old Litchfield, Minnesota boy's life was changed forever by the generosity of others as news came down that he would need a heart transplant operation.
18 years later, Jaren Winings needs a new heart once again because his body is now rejecting the donated one. And, once again, the Litchfield community is rallying around him.
“I remember the benefit and going down to the cities for the heart transplant,” he said.
Jaren is now 26, married with a five-year-old son named Landan.
He says he noticed he had a bad heart because he would get tired while playing hockey. In October 1999, there was a silent auction to help the family as Jaren awaited a heart transplant, which he got that December.
Now, his family and a group of friends have gathered donations for second silent auction in Litchfield this Saturday--almost 18 years to the day from the first one.
“I mean, we can't believe the gift cards, the big items that people have donated,” Jaren said.
Four years ago, Jaren began experiencing the symptoms of rejection and is now on the list for a new heart. As he waits, he worries he will not see his son grow up, hoping it all turns out as well as it did in 1999.
“[It] really helped a lot having that first transplant," he said. "I can't wait to feel like that again."