Jordan Sasaki Bellan: A Survivor and A Fighter


Courtesy of Jordan Sasaki Bellan

Ulia Zaman, Staff Writer

  Jordan Sasaki Bellan (9) is a freshman at West High that has successfully overcome one of the greatest challenges of his life. Diagnosed with a congenital heart disease at a young age, Jordan always had a lot to deal with on his plate. After undergoing heart transplant surgery last year, he is now healthy and able to do all of the things that he has always wanted to do. I interviewed him about the experiences that he has gone through and what he hopes for the future.


Q: Could you tell me a little bit about yourself? (Who you are, what activities you are involved in at West, your hobbies, etc.)

A: I am a geek, I enjoy video games, [and] I am a science fan. I have a white spot on the back of my head. I am not in any clubs or activities at West because all the ones that I joined at the beginning of the year moved on since the last 5 months that I missed school. My hobbies include collecting rocks, looking at microorganisms, and running.


Q: What was the reason you needed to receive a heart transplant?

A: My heart was wrong. But seriously it’s because I had a congenital heart disease which caused my left artery and my right artery to switch which made my heart pump less and less blood, causing it to fill up with blood instead of pumping it (which is why it’s so big in the picture).


Q: Could you briefly explain the process that you went through (eg. diagnosis, surgery, recovery)?

A: The first diagnosis was when I was four months old which was around the same time I had my first surgery when they attached a pacemaker to my heart (helps my heart work). The recent surgery was easy, although it did take the “new” heart seven hours to get to the hospital after they had already removed my heart.

The recovery was difficult. I was ready to leave after the first week but, when doing a biopsy on the very last day, I almost died because there was water/blood/unwanted air in my lungs so I had a tube stuck to my lung for 3 more weeks (it hurt to do anything).


Q: When spending long hours in the hospital, what was your go-to pass time?

A: Mostly asking the doctor for pain meds and sleeping, but I [also] watched TV and played video games on my phone/computer and I read like ten pages of a book.


Q: Do you have any major role models or inspirational figures that you look towards when you need advice?

A: My dad is really smart and he is the freaking best. I want to be like him if not better.


Q: What do you want to do in the future? In college and afterwards?

A: I would like to study psychology, chemical engineering or maybe genetic engineering though I still don’t know.


Q: When did you decide that this was the life path you wanted to take? What made you decide?

A: I didn’t, to be honest, I don’t know how I chose this. Maybe it was because I couldn’t really do something else my whole life because of the heart that didn’t work (P.S. it also lowered my stamina) so I just stuck to things that didn’t require physical exercises, like videogames or science.


Q: What is your life motto?

A: See the best in every situation.


  Jordan has proven that no matter how large or difficult an obstacle may seem, nothing is impossible. The only way to win and achieve great things in life is by fighting through all of struggles that life throws at you.