East Texan's heart legacy will live on through others

Published: Oct. 5, 2011 at 12:56 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 5, 2011 at 3:10 AM CDT
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TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Josh Canal never took a second for granted. He was born with a heart condition known as Hypoplastic Heart Syndrome. But it didn't stop him from living.

At 17, Josh suffered heart failure and received a transplant.

"We have always felt a deep sense of debt, felt a great debt to the family that donated Josh's heart," said Joe Canal, Josh's father.

An avid Stars fan, Josh even received a few visits from Mike Modano while in the hospital. He even went to Modano's Stanley Cup Party.

After his transplant, Josh became an EMT. A passion he discovered through his own medical trials.

But, earlier this year, Josh's new heart also began to fail.

Needing a new transplant, the clock was ticking.

"He would go through the worst days and he would come out with a smile on his face," said Pam Canal, Josh's wife.

Three days ago, Josh's heart gave out.

"It's so awesome when your son can be your hero and you see how he faced death. And, you just hope, I really hope that when my time comes, that I can have as much courage and as much grace as he had," said Joe Canal.

Josh donated his organs and the healthy pieces of his heart were salvaged. The will help other's hearts beat on.

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