RI teen finishes Boston Marathon despite heart condition

BOSTON (WPRI) — A Rhode Island teen completed his first Boston Marathon Monday, despite a condition that left him with just three functioning heart chambers.

At only three days old, Austin Prario of Burrillville had his first of many open heart surgeries.

Doctors told his parents he would never be able to take part in high physical activity.

“…I would never be able to keep up with kids academically, mentally and physically, and I would never be able to run a Boston marathon. They used that example because it was going on that week,” said Austin Prario.

The following year, Austin’s father, Dave, ran the marathon and carried him across the finish line.

Austin was determined to make sure that wasn’t the only time he crossed the finish line. Doctors cleared him to run the 26.2 mile course. Austin was set to run the race with his father, but halfway through his father became ill and his brother Ethan stepped in.

Once Austin crossed the finish line, he gave his dad a big hug.

Austin’s message for anyone else who is told they can’t do something: “Everything was crazy at one point in time until somebody tried it and you’ll never know what you can do unless you give it a whirl.”

Austin finished in 6:14. He says it was a little slower than he would’ve liked, but it was warmer than usual that day. Most importantly, he says it wasn’t about the time, it was about finishing.