VYPE U: Overcoming Impossible Odds - A Story of Perseverance
Almost dying multiple times within a few days is not a common problem for the average sixteen year old, but, if you know anything about Adrian Storey, you know that was the norm for a time in his life.
August 28th, 2018 started out as a normal Tuesday, as it would for any teenager. Storey was in his baseball class period, running sprints with his teammates. And then his life changed forever.
"Out of nowhere, I saw this blinding, white light," said Storey. "I had collapsed, but I didn't know it. It was like falling asleep."
That was his description of one of the most dramatic and heart-stopping events (literally and figuratively) that would happen in the 2018-2019 school year. He had collapsed, blacked out and started convulsing and seizing. Coach Keith Humphreys immediately took action, sending students for the AED and athletic trainers.
Junior Carson Dodds also recounts the experience.
"I just remember running and then seeing Adrian collapse," he said. "He started seizing on the ground and his face went completely purple. That's when Coach Humphreys checked his breathing and started CPR. It was a really scary experience."
There were no pre-existing conditions. No signs that could've prepared everyone for what was happening. Out of nowhere, he was down.
Athletic trainers Melissa Quigley and Marrianne Landon acted quickly and efficiently, enacting the emergency action plan.
"Landon was the first to get out there," said head trainer Melissa Quigley. "She brought the AED, attached it to [Storey] and, at that point, he regained consciousness."
"I woke up and my vision was blurry, and then I felt the AED on my chest," said Storey. "I was super confused. But, after my vision cleared, I was able to stand up, walk onto the stretcher and wait for the ambulance in the training room. It was almost like nothing had happened. I felt completely fine."
From the ambulance, he was taken to Memorial Hermann hospital, where doctors performed tests. After a few hours, they released him, citing dehydration as the issue. He was given strict restrictions: no practicing for at least three weeks. The next morning, Storey hardly noticed the nervous chatter about his accident from the sophomore class.
"The next morning was pretty normal," said Storey. "I came to school [and] I had basically an entire day of school. But, every time I stood up, my heartbeat would go up a lot. It was like 160 to 180 beats per minute just walking. And I felt like I needed to pass out. I remember drinking a lot of water."
When he got out to the south parking lot for practice that day, he almost collapsed again. Thankfully, Coach Humphreys was there to send him to the nurse's office. He got an appointment with a cardiologist that day.
The next morning, Storey was woken up by his father, who left the room shortly after to check on their breakfast. Moments after he left, Storey fell and everything happened all over again. Only this time, it was worse.
"I hit my head when I fell [and] it made a sound," said Storey. "My brother came in and saw me and screamed for my dad. My dad came in and did CPR for two rounds."
Storey was nervously clenching his hands into fists. The ambulance arrived in about five minutes, just in time to save Storey's life. His heart had stopped completely for two minutes.
"I could've sworn I fell asleep and woke up in the ICU," said Storey. "I vaguely remember riding in an ambulance and trying to get this tube out of my throat, but, otherwise, I was completely out of it."
After dying for the second time in three days, Storey was taken to Texas Children's Hospital, where he was monitored constantly. People visited. Days went by slowly and anxiously.
"The whole time, I was pretty worried about my dad," emphasized Storey. "He had been through all of it with me and really saved my life.
Without Coach Humphreys and his dad knowing CPR and administering it to him at the right moment, it's likely that Adrian would've died.
Storey spent eight days in the hospital. He had an ICD defibrillator implanted in the left side of his chest.
After Storey was healthy enough to leave the hospital, things went back to normal, except for one thing. He couldn't play baseball. Everyday, Adrian sat in the athletic training room, understanding why he couldn't play or practice with his team.
"Adrian was always very positive," Quigley said, when asked about Storey's demeanor through his time away from baseball. "He was always very confident [that] he would be able to make a return to sport and I think Adrian knew the severity of what had happened to him.
Seven months after being released from the hospital, Adrian visited the Mayo Clinic in Minneapolis for tests and a diagnosis for his condition. He had already been playing on a spring team, Adidas Baseball, for a few weeks. But, even despite playing for a club baseball team, Spring Branch ISD was extremely reluctant to clear him, as it was concerned about another potentially fatal accident.
"They did 15 to 20 tests on me," said Storey. "It went pretty quick. I saw a doctor there, Dr. Ackerman. He told me that my case was extremely rare. He said I have less of a chance of having another attack than someone with a peanut allergy or someone with diabetes."
The results of his tests were sent back to Houston and, soon after, Storey was released to play by every doctor he'd seen. But, not by the school district.
The results of all the tests were sent to Spring Branch ISD, so it could take them into consideration when deciding whether to allow Storey to play again.
After weeks of waiting, a decision was finally made. On August 16th, his 17th birthday, Storey was officially cleared by the district to play for his high school.
"When I found out that I had been cleared, I was really happy," said Storey. "I told a few of my friends and posted something on Instagram that day. It was a really good day."
This upcoming season, Storey will likely play first base or catcher, wherever he might be needed. But more importantly, he will be getting back to what he loves: playing baseball.
Photo courtesy of Stratford Booster Club
Photo courtesy of Stratford Booster Club