When 17-year-old Shaun Wilson-Miller -- an Australian teenager with a terminal heart condition -- recorded an emotional goodbye message on YouTube earlier this month, he never expected to become an Internet sensation and inspiration to thousands of people around the world.
But that's exactly what happened. After his second heart transplant failed and he was told that he did not have long to live, Shaun recorded a heartfelt farewell his friends and family. Although the message was intended for Shaun's inner circle, the world took notice. The touching video has now been viewed over 1.3 million times.
"I won't be here as long as I thought, but I want to say that this has been an awesome ride and I have no regrets," Shaun said in his "My Final Goodbye" video. "Live life to the fullest because you never know what's going to happen."
Shaun's message of seizing the day and appreciating life inspired a mass outpouring of love and compassion, thanks to which Shaun will spend the last months of his short life living out his dreams. Shaun has appeared on national TV shows, met his favorite Australian football player Jobe Watson, is writing his memoirs, and has even found love.
The love of Shaun's young life is a fellow heart patient he's known for seven years, and started dating two and a half weeks ago. In that brief period, their relationship has blossomed.
"The hardest thing for me is leaving her, knowing that I won't get to marry her," Shaun told the Herald Sun. "To have kids together. To grow old together. That is what makes me sad."
In another case of love conquering all, Linda Thibodeaux and Jordan Merecka met and fell for each other last month at a children's hospital while they were awaiting heart transplant surgery. The teens not only recovered -- Jordan with an artificial heart and Linda with a new organ received from a donor -- but also discovered their unshakeable connection.
Linda said: "I felt like [I was] getting a whole new heart again, but it was him and it was a beautiful moment."
Another young woman who has found love in a seemingly hopeless place is Lauren Robinson, a high school student with a rare and potentially fatal dairy allergy that prevents her from attending school and being out in public. But her devoted boyfriend showers and brushes his teeth every day before he comes to her house so that he can kiss her safely.