Several Griffiths Middle School seventh graders got a very special lesson in health, all thanks to a very special guest.
Johnny Lemucchi is relatively well known around Downey. For nearly a year, he was hard to miss.
Lemucchi made headlines last year as Downey’s “man without a heart.” After suffering a devastating heart attack, Lemucchi was kept alive by a rare artificial heart transplant for 203 days.
Lemucchi has since received a new heart and new lease on life, and like his new heart has hardly missed a beat returning to the active lifestyle he was always accustomed to.
On May 23 - nine months and a day after receiving his new heart – Lemucchi visited the Indians to share his story with students.
It wasn’t random that students heard Lemucchi’s story; 7th graders have spent part of their current semester learning about the science behind their health and bodies.
“We had been learning about body systems, comparison between animals and humans,” said Teacher Jessenia Vargas Aguilar, who hosted Lemucchi for three of her classes. “We talked a little bit about what it takes when something goes wrong in your body and you need a transplant.”
Lemucchi has long said that he wishes to use his story to help educate and inspire. This is only one of the opportunities that he has taken.
“To pass the information and how important it is to function and to continue your goals, to strive to continue to get better, to get through struggles…just because you come to a roadblock, don’t stop; work through it,” said Lemucchi.
Lemucchi spent his time not only advocating for healthy living, but for keeping motivated.
“I didn’t let it stop me,” said Lemucchi. “Don’t let nothing hold you back.”