Grafton High rallies for student recovering from heart attack, transplant

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YORK COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — A 15-year-old Grafton High School freshman has had more than his “unfair” share of operations.

On November 28, Andrew Stonier had a heart attack and nearly died — and he’s nearly died several times since. He hasn’t left a hospital in nearly three months, and as you can imagine, he has mountains of medical bills.

Photos: Students Zumba to help fellow classmate

Grafton High School students took part in a commercial getting students to attend their Heart Week Zumba fundraiser, raising money for Stonier.

The student-produced commercial begins: “The 80s called and they want the outfit back,” senior Allen Blaha says.

The response: “Allen, you didn’t hear there’s Zumba?”

The students then go off running through the school, getting others to join in.

Elizabeth Owens, a senior at Grafton, wrote the commercial. Junior Matthew Moniuszko directed, edited and produced the advertisement.

“That’s what we are trying to do is come together and make the best out of this situation, and do the best we can for Andrew,” Moniuszko said. “We want positive energy and that is representative of what Grafton as a whole is doing.”

Amy Hunter, a teacher at Grafton High, had been teaching Stonier’s class CPR when she had to perform it on him to save his life on Nov. 28.

“I felt a thump and that moved my desk,” Hunter said. “When I pulled him up by his face he was completely blue, and getting more and more blue.”

The school’s resource officer grabbed a defibrillator to shock Andrew’s heart.

“I used the AED and delivered the shock. He was then talking and trying to get off the floor,” says SRO Deputy J.W. Charville.

Nearly three months later, Andrew has not left hospitals. His heart wasn’t working right. He lost his right leg below the knee due to poor circulation and on Christmas day, he got a heart transplant that took 13 hours.

“He is doing extremely well for what he’s gone through,” said Andrew’s father, Michael Stonier. “His spirits are down, but he’s been in the hospital for months… His leg really concerns him a lot on some days… I’m sure it is wearing on him to be in a hospital room all day, and not being around his family, friends or school.”

On Jan. 17, Andrew’s first words since that November day: “I love you mom.”

Stonier’s classmates now have a new appreciation for what is really important.

“Just being able to run is a gift, to have that taken from you is just horrendous,” senior and SCA President Matthew Grant said.

Grafton senior Julia Larsen set up a Go Fund Me page for Andrew. Click here to donate.