Heart Week - Who We are Supporting
On November 28, 2016, Andrew Stonier, a freshman, came to Grafton High School like any other day. He went to first period and had a little cough but really felt ok. On the way the 3rd block, he stopped at the water fountain and then ran up the stairs because he did not want to be late to class. That’s when everything changed.
Upon entering the classroom and sitting down, Andrew had a heart attack. Luckily, his PE teacher had been teaching and reviewing CPR as part of his health class. She realized he was in cardiac arrest and immediately started CPR. Assistance was called and an AED was used to “shock” his heart back into rhythm. Fire and Life Safety personnel were on scene within minutes and Andrew was taken to the hospital. From Mary Immaculate, Andrew was transferred to CHKD. He underwent surgery to repair a heart valve the next day, but he again went into cardiac arrest. He was transferred to the University of Virginia Pediatric Cardiac Care unit in Charlottesville. On December 24th, Andrew received a new heart because his old one was too damaged. As a result of his condition, he had to have one leg amputated below the knee. He has undergone many, many procedures but he is doing well. Andrew may be able to transfer to a facility closer to home soon.
The family is facing many medical bills and life changes. Andrew will need to take 7 medications a day for the rest of his life, he will need therapies, equipment and changes to his home. His parents took a lot of time of work to be with him and his family has to travel back and forth to see him. The expenses are very high, but they are glad to have Andrew on the mend.