SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) – It was the moment just over a month ago that stunned Philip Sullivan of Southfield and his wife Kimberly Sullivan. They had thought their tall, strong, football player son Trevor might have appendicitis.
“Super Bowl Sunday, he was shoveling snow,” Philip said. “Then all of a sudden, now we’re at U of M-Ann Arbor and he’s being diagnosed with heart failure. And before we know it, he’s got to have a heart transplant.”
Trevor, 14, had been feeling a little tired all through the Fall. “It was getting kind of difficult, especially throughout football season,” Trevor said. “I think I pushed myself a little too much. I’d be just really tired and exhausted. I didn’t know what was wrong.”
Then Trevor caught what appeared to be a cold; he was on medication and swelled up and gained weight; he suffered stomach pains. His mother thought it was appendicitis and is still stunned by the diagnosis of heart failure.
It turns out, Trevor had been born with a heart defect that no one had detected.
“As he had some upper respiratory infections and colds, things that we all get, they had started attacking his heart muscle,” Kimberly said. “When they did the MRI, it showed that his heart was severely scarred from all the times it’s been attacked.”
Trevor is at the top of the list for a heart transplant at CS Mott Children’s Hospital. The family has to be ready at any moment to rush to the hospital in Ann Arbor for a new heart. “It could be days, weeks, months. It just depends on when a donor heart is available and if it matches him,” Kimberly said.
Trevor would just like to be able to return to school and activities like skateboarding. With the medication he is on and his illness, he has to avoid bruising and catching an infection. “I’m just sick of sitting in the house all day, not doing much,” he said.
School or no school, the Birmingham School District isn’t forgetting Trevor. The popular football player’s jersey has been retired at Berkshire Middle School and at Birmingham Groves High School, where he’ll be next year.
Trevor has been named an assistant coach at Groves and is already studying up for his new job.
The district and the community have planned a host of events to help the family with the enormous cost of the transplant. Kimberly Sullivan said such procedures can run from $450,000 to $600,000. Although the family has insurance, there are a lot of out-of-pocket costs.
The Yoga Shelter in West Bloomfield is holding a Yoga fundraiser on March, 27 at 7:15 p.m., taught by popular instructor Barbi Stalburg. There are numerous other events and a Go Fund Me Account. You can check it out on Facebook.