A North Texas teenager is giving hope to others like him, children born with heart conditions.
The fact that Tate Lewis is 18-years-old is a feat in itself. He was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. In laymen's terms, Tate was born with half a heart.
"I tried not to think too far ahead because I didn't know if he would get through the next surgery," Tate's mother, Cheri Lewis said. "We almost lost him a couple of times, actually."
Tate had his first surgery at five days old. The last surgery to put in a new pacemaker was on his 18th birthday.
"Tate is sort of a poster child for an HLHS kid," Cheri Lewis said. "We're so blessed. You would never know by looking at him he's had a stroke, and that his chest looks like he's been beat up in a war."
On Thursday, Tate will share his story as a guest speaker at the Heart of Gold Foundation Golf Tournament in Dallas. The tournament raises money for Camp Moss, a camp for kids like Tate.
"All the kids get in the pool and none of them have their shirt on, they're showing their scars. I was like, ok everyone's like me." Tate said recalling his first year at the camp. "They taught us what I can do, never looked at what we can't."
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"There's a lot of Tates out there," Tate's father, Duane Lewis said. "We just want to give them hope."
Tate is an accomplished golfer. He plays with the North Texas Junior PGA.
"I play the best that I can, do what I can, and see where it takes me," Tate said. "Know that you have your heart condition, but live like you don't."
Tate hopes to play golf at college one day.