Upstate student needs heart transplant after flu complications

(WSPA) – A Greer High School student is now in the hospital with what her family describes as complications from the flu, and now there’s word that the student will need a heart transplant.

On the day when most celebrate love, one family is surrounded by it, while their daughter lies in the hospital, possibly looking for a new heart.

While 17-year-old Cheyenne Vandergrift lays in a hospital in Charleston fighting for her life, friends and family say she’s in need of a heart transplant. Those who love and support her family are praying and hoping for the best.

“This has actually brought kids together,” says family friend Valerie Ashcroft.

Tina Floyd Vandergrift, Cheyenne’s mother, puts updates on her Facebook page daily with her daughters medical condition and treatments.

Ashcroft says this wave of sickness all started after Cheyenne was diagnosed with type-A flu a little more than a week ago.

“And on Friday evening she woke up very very cold. Her body temperature was very low and she was very ice cold,” says Ashcroft.

With the flu hitting hard this season hospitals and doctors offices are filled with patients.

Dr. Robin Lacroix, Medical Director of Children’s Hospital of Greenville, does not know Cheyenne, but knows all too well how easily the flu spreads.

“So the flu is a virus, it begins typically in the respiratory track and it can attack other organs in addition to just the lungs and the typical systems that we see with runny noise and sore throat,” Dr. Lacroix says.

Classmates and church members are coming together to offer support for the Greer High School junior by putting up fund pages. With a goal of $5,000, they are well on their way to reaching it.

“This has actually brought kids together and even people that don’t even know her are just being touched by this story,” Ashcroft says.

And it is also bringing to light the importance of proper hygiene.

“Having kids use tissues and throw them away, hand washing frequently to illuminate viruses and bacteria on the hands,” Dr. Lacroix says.

On Tuesday, Cheyenne’s mother posted that her daughter is on dialysis. This ordeal far from over for this family. Acts of kindness will certainly be appreciated.

The family is staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Charleston.

If you would like to send a card to Cheyenne, the family will hang them in her room. The address to send a card is:

Ronald McDonald House
Room 110
81 Gadsden Street
Charleston, SC 29401