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.

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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.

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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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