LOS ANGELES - From the street it looks like a typical multi-unit apartment complex in Los Angeles.
But once you get inside "Ava's House," you realize something extraordinary is happening here.
The home is named for Ava Kaufman. Ava herself is a heart transplant survivor and the founder of "Ava’s Heart", a nonprofit that helps patients desperately waiting for organ transplants, and looking for a place locally to stay.
The vibe inside the house is part-dorm room and part-healing center. The rooms are cheerful, awash in sunshine.
But it’s the camaraderie between housemates that’s most impressive.
When we visited, house residents were from out-of-state.
In fact, 35% of all transplants performed take place in LA. But you must live locally to get on these transplant lists.
That’s why this nonprofit is so very important - it’s giving people in dire need of a place to stay, a pathway to get a lifesaving operation.
In August, the people we spoke to at Ava’s House were either waiting for a transplant or were recovering from one.
We sat in the informal dining room.
There was a great deal of laughter and encouragement as housemates Christian and Marcus counseled Franky and Esme Garcia of Las Vegas.
The Garcia's 8-week-old baby daughter, Amelia, was recovering from a heart transplant.
By now, Christian and Marcus were on the mend from their transplants and were being treated as outpatients.
They were role models to the young Garcia family.
After her heart transplant, baby Amelia is thriving.
If you’d like to learn more about this transformative group, visit avasheart.org