Dallas County should rally around young man

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 3, 2005

In our opinion, few places in the world can rally to a cause like a motivated Selma and Dallas County.

The fund-raising initiative for the new YMCA is just one example in which our area rose above and beyond the call of duty.

We have another opportunity to prove our worth.

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Young Andrew Spradling, 16 of Moneta

Va, needs a new heart.

After 16 months of waiting at the Mayo Clinic, it was determined that he isn’t a viable candidate.

Now Andrew is back at home, trying to go to school, dealing with the aftermath of being born with a heart that only has two chambers and one valve.

“He was also born with his heart, stomach and all his internal organs on the right side,” his grandmother Janet Cochran said. “He has scoliosis of the spine and needs surgery really bad, but they can’t do it because of his heart.”

Cochran, a former Selma resident, said that Andrew’s liver drained into his heart and he has problems with his spleen.

“He has had four open heart surgeries – three in Richmond at MCV and one at the Mayo Clinic at Rochester,

Minnesota,” Cochran said. “The doctors in Richmond would not do a transplant because they were sure he wouldn’t survive it.”

Spradling will turn 17 on July 27th and his grandmother is asking for folks to send him a card. Getting cards, she says, makes the 5- foot -1, 83-pound Andrew happy.

Andrew isn’t asking for money, and he isn’t asking us to provide a medical miracle.

But for the price of a birthday card and stamp, we can help give a sick young man a small measure of happiness.

We can let him now that he’s not alone, that the communities of Selma and Dallas County are pulling – and more importantly praying – for him.

It’s rare in life that we get a chance to give some comfort to a total stranger.

Today, we have that chance.

Send letters and or birthday cards to:

Andrew Spradling


Meadors Spur Road

Moneta, Va.