Appleton teen overjoyed by support after heart transplant

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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - Fifteen-year-ol, Connor Iwaoka is now recovering after spending months in the hospital with a rare heart condition.

Connor Iwaoka in a hospital (photo provided)

Friday, his classmates at Appleton East High School held a pep rally and raised more than $1,200 for his medical expenses.

In February, Iwaoka's vacation to Florida turned into a fight for his life.

"All my checks came back negative except for a couple at my heart," Iwaoka said.

Connors's heart was failing, and within a two month span he would be transported among three different hospitals and have three surgeries.

One for an artificial heart and two because of complications.

“It didn’t set in right away because that morning, you know, I was eating Frosted Flakes, playing on my phone, having fun, and then that night I was in the emergency room with a surgeon over me," said Iwaoka.

But weeks later he received a heart.

"We were going downhill, and then the next day it was like, 'You got a heart,' and it was fantastic," said Iwaoka.

“It’s been a roller-coaster, unreal and shocking," Connor's mom, Michele Boge, said.

Boge was by his side the whole way.

She was also there Friday when his classmates at Appleton East held a pep rally honoring him.

"Appleton East has done so much," Boge said.

From get well soon cards to raising money, the school and the Appleton community have supported the family.

“I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to say thank you to everybody," said Boge. "It was amazing.”

Connor now is going through therapy to regain his strength but can't wait to get back to school in the fall to walk the same halls with the people who have supported him.

To help with Connor's medical expenses you can donate on GoFundMe at

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