Health

This Inspiring Fitness Model Lives Without A Heart

This guy is our new hero.

Being a fitness model seems hard enough—now imagine doing so without a heart. Well, one that’s made of flesh and blood anyway.

That’s the case for Andrew “AJ” Jones, a fitness model who was born with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart muscle thickens without an obvious cause. He learned he had the condition in 2012 after becoming weak, running a high fever and coughing up blood. He’ll need a heart transplant, but in the meantime, he has an artificial heart that mechanically transports blood through his body, just like a regular heart would.

“I always have to have batteries charging,” Jones says in a video produced by Great Big Story. “At night, when I’m going to bed, I’ll plug my phone in, and then I’ll plug myself in.”

 

Despite all this, Jones wanted to continue to pursue his passion for fitness. He is an active fitness model on both Instagram and YouTube, with over 55,000 subscribers.

“I always loved working out and staying in shape, but I never actually took the time to be thankful to even have the ability to do so,” Jones told The Daily Mail. “Now I end my workouts almost in tears because I am still alive and I feel amazing.”

Jones is truly an inspiration. Learn more about him in Great Big Story’s video, titled “If I Only Had A Heart,” which you can check out below.