Friday, December 14th, 2007
Teen, who Coldwater residents aided, suffers setback
By Shelley Grieshop
The teenager from Clinton Massie High School, who captured the hearts of the local community, had a major setback this week following her heart transplant in mid-November.
Savana Coffman, 15, who was dismissed from the hospital Dec. 2, suffered a cardiac arrest about 1:30 a.m. Thursday morning. After a neighbor revived her, she was taken by emergency helicopter to Children's Hospital, Cincinnati, where her heart reportedly stopped again, family members say.
No other information was available this morning.
Savana, a high school cheerleader, suddenly became ill in early October and was diagnosed with heart failure. Her only option was a heart transplant and her family has no medical insurance. Savana's mother, Tabby, had a heart transplant 13 years ago and the family's coverage was severed.
The news of the Coffman family's predicament hit Coldwater Schools just days before the high school football team was to play Clinton Massie in a regional football championship game in Dayton. In two days, the local school and surrounding community raised more than $15,000, which was presented to Savana's sister and uncle prior to the kick-off that Saturday night.
"After we presented the check, we got calls from all over the area from people who wanted to help," said Coldwater Schools Treasurer Sherry Shaffer, who directed interested donors to the Coffman's Web site at www.savanasmiles.com.
At an emotional Coldwater School board meeting Tuesday night, Clinton Massie Superintendent Ron Redduck, high school Principal Phil Larrick and board member Stephen Ford spoke about their appreciation to the community, Shaffer said. They also presented a framed proclamation to the school, which included a photo of football helmets from both schools, side by side.
Although Coldwater defeated the Clinton Massie Falcons, their opponents declared "orange and black day" the following weekend as Cavaliers continued their pursuit of the state title. The Coldwater High School team won the state Division IV championship in a nail-biting game December 1.
Coldwater Schools board members Tuesday presented the Clinton Massie administrators with a Coldwater state championship T-shirt to give to Savana. Redduck told board members that Coffman's intention was to visit the Coldwater school in late February to personally share her story and appreciation.
A relative of the Coffmans, Lora Allen, told The Daily Standard this morning the family hopes their new friends in the Grand Lake area will continue their prayers for Savana.