BLAINE, Minn. — High school football is off and running again in Minnesota, and no one is happier about that than a senior defensive lineman from Blaine.
Andrew Edwards nearly died last year, so now, he's savoring every moment.
The problem began with COVID in April of last year. Then in May, six days after receiving his first COVID vaccine, the high school sophomore had a frightening reaction.
“I woke up in the middle of that night and I had really bad chest pain, and it kind of felt like someone was sitting on my chest...same symptoms as a heart attack, you know?” said Edwards.
His mom, a heart nurse, detected an irregular heartbeat, and the 15-year-old was rushed to the hospital.
“Thinking on the way, I didn't know what was wrong. I remember telling my parents, 'I don't want to die.' Freaked out; no idea what was wrong,” said Andrew.
Eventually, doctors diagnosed Andrew with myocarditis, which is an inflammation of the heart muscle — but his was severe.
Doctors think a combination of contracting COVID and then receiving the vaccine could have been the cause.
And on top of all that, Andrew was found to be diabetic — way too much to take in.
“I just remember laying in the hospital bed just crying forever. I guess it finally settled in that, 'This is really happening to me,'” said Edwards.
And to make matters even worse, doctors ordered Andrew to do nothing to raise his heart rate for six months. Six months. No physical activity. Nothing.
That meant no football and his junior season was wiped out. But yet, he still felt lucky.
“They told me if my heart had swelled anymore I would have gone into cardiac arrest and my heart would have failed. They told me that,” said Andrew.
Andrew calls this a miracle. He's back on the football field over a year later, and he's gained 75 pounds he's putting on muscle. In fact, recently, he bench pressed 315 pounds eight times — a new personal record.
But more than anything else, he's happy to be alive. And life looks different now.
“Is it fair to say that maybe what happened to you kind of put everything into perspective?” asked Randy Shaver.
“Yes. It all got taken away from me so fast. It definitely made me realize how lucky we are to be able to do these things,” said Andrew.
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