Sophomores wear red to support Griffin


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Sophomores show their support for classmate Kayla Griffin by wearing red on the day of her open heart surgery.

Nikki Gordon

“Don’t forget to wear red on Tuesday” was the text message that was passed around to the students of BIC on Sunday, August 24 even though many of the students weren’t aware of why they were being told to wear red.

To the students it was just another regular Tuesday, but to Kayla Griffin it was the day that she was going to have open heart surgery.  This was the reason why the students were being asked to wear red.  Kayla needed their support, and the students needed to wear red for Kayla.

A trip to her pediatrician is what first alerted Kayla’s doctor of any kind of problem.  She went for her annual physical which she had to have if she was going to play basketball this year.  Her doctor noted that her blood pressure was higher than it was supposed to be, but it wasn’t that big of a problem.  Kayla and her family were told to track her blood pressure at home just to make sure that it didn’t get worse.

Over a period of time Kayla’s blood pressure continued to be higher than normal so her doctor ran some tests on her, just to make sure that nothing more serious was going on.  This was when they realized that she had a one-inch diameter hole in her heart.

Ginger Walls and her family, close friends with Kayla’s family, have been at the hospital every second that they can be to help support Kayla in her time of need. Walls was impressed with the bravery Kayla showed in the days leading up to the surgery.

“She wasn’t really scared at all,” Walls said.  “She kept telling her family to chill out.”

Since having surgery on Tuesday, she has been confined to her hospital bed.  She isn’t allowed to move much at all from her bed, but she has made huge milestones in the past few days.

“Today she crossed a huge milestone because she was able to walk from one end of the hall to the other,” Walls said. “She’s able to eat solid foods.  She had pizza last night and Lexi (Wall’s younger daughter) made sure we stopped at Sonic before we saw her today so we could pick up her favorite drink, a cherry Nerds slush with extra Nerds.”

Kayla faces a long recovery period, but her classmates and community continue to support her during this time.