NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Nurses and doctors at a local hospital made it a special birthday for a young patient waiting for the gift of life.

Jeffrey Denis has spent the last month on the heart transplant list at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

Today was his 18th birthday.

Staff members surprised Denis with a celebration as he waiting from work from his doctors.

“Hopefully he tells me he has a heart pretty soon so I can get it done, get a good recovery and get out of here,” Denis said.

He was born with a heart defect that makes the transplant necessary.

The surgery was postponed so he could graduate from high school back home in Syracuse.

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