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My Story

Welcome to our CaringBridge site. It has been created to keep friends and family updated about our loved one.

My Story is the introduction to our CaringBridge site.

Be sure to read the latest in the journal, view the photo gallery, and drop us a line in the guestbook.



We had Andrea home for 10 days before we realized she was ill. She had stopped eating and was very fussy through the whole night. We tried to wait until the doctor's office opened in the morning before taking her anywhere but when we felt her head and she was cold we knew we had to take her to the ER. Her temperture was only 90 degrees when we got her there. We were later told by the doctor if we had waited any longer she may not be with us. I saw them do things in that ER that I could never have imagined. It was all very traumatic for her and also for us. Her condition is called Cardiomyopathy and basically that is an enlarged heart. The left ventricle of her heart is not pumping blood out the way it should be. She was admitted into the hospital on November 7, 2007. She was on the ventilator for 11 days before coming off. They thought she was doing so well. Every ECHO that they did looked better each time. We really thought it may be possible for her to go home with us on medication for her condition. All of that changed on Thanksgiving day, 5 days after being extubated. Her breathing was not good and she was not comfortable. Every time we brought it to the doctor's attention he shrugged it off as if it were not a big deal and we had no choice but to believe him. Later that evening she took a turn for the worse. They did not feel she was getting enough oxygen from the nasal canula so they wanted to put her CPAP, that did not work and she wound up having to be reintubated. That was horrible. Since it was an emergency, Reggie and I were there and basically watched the whole thing. At 5:00 am the next morning she had a bad reaction when they tried to give her a blood transfusion and they knew there was no more they could do for her at that particular hospital, so they transferred her to UVa Children's Hospital. That morning Andrea had her first helicopter ride here to UVa and we have been here ever since. On December 6 she had surgery to receive a Berlin Heart. The Berlin Heart is an external pump that is attached into her own heart. It is doing the work that her own left ventricle could not perform. It seems to be doing what it is supposed to. It should help her to hold on until a heart becomes available for her.

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Adrienne Cheek posted a new journal entry.

Drea,I am going to be shutting this page down but I wanted to explain why. It is not for lack of love for you, that could never be. It is not because your sister is now ... Read more

Kathy Tatum signed Andrea's Guestbook.

Yes, Your Mother said all the right words , and all I can do is cry for what should of been..... I know you are a beautiful smiling angel and until we meet ... Read more

Adrienne Cheek posted a new journal entry.

Drea,I am going to be shutting this page down but I wanted to explain why. It is not for lack of love for you, that could never be. It is not because your sister is now ... Read more

Adrienne Cheek posted a new journal entry.

I will be taking Drea's page off CaringBridge after this weekend. They give you the opportunity to create a bbok out of this webpage complete with all journal entries and ... Read more

Kathy Tatum signed Andrea's Guestbook.

Thinking of you this evening, I know you are one of God's angels. I still can remember you very clearly. You were beautiful!!! I think of you often and I guess you are on ... Read more

Kathy Tatum signed Andrea's Guestbook.

Just stopping by to say that I will never forget you guys, I think of you daily and you will always remain in our hearts. Love Kathy & Michael Read more

Angela Greenidge signed Andrea's Guestbook.

My Dear Sweet Drea, just thinking of you and wishing you were here, tomorrow is the day you went to heaven with God, it is still so hard at times, i have shed many tears ... Read more

al mayo signed Andrea's Guestbook.

Dear Adrienne i just read your story about your little angel omg i'm so sad to hear about your lost my prays go out to you and your family. There is no words to ... Read more

Kathy Tatum signed Andrea's Guestbook.

Hello adrienne, Just sitting here thinking of you & Andrea & family, Thinking about how much all that Andrea & Joseph went through and how we are all left ... Read more

Sarah Ulmer signed Andrea's Guestbook.

I want you to know though we only talked briefly I think of you and your little angel every day. This year as I tried to help the school with the Jump Rope for Heart to ... Read more

Angela Greenidge signed Andrea's Guestbook.

Dear A and Reg, I know it has been a hard year, but I want you guys to know that you're on our minds daily, I could hardly believe it was that time already it still seems ... Read more

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