DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A Stebbins High School athlete is finally home tonight, two months after she collapsed during track practice.
Eighteen-year-old Ebonie Sherwood nearly died after having a heart attack. Now, weeks after receiving a heart transplant and recovering at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, the next chapter of healing will be at home.
The Sherwood family said it’s been nothing short of a miracle, and Ebonie’s mother, Beverly Sherwood, is feeling grateful for everyone who helped bring her daughter home.
“Everybody, doctors, nurses, patient relations, people in the gift shop cafeteria,” Beverly said. “Everybody’s been amazing and supporting us and encouraging us, and Ebonie inspires me with how hard she’s pushed herself to get better.”
Ebonie persevered step by step as UC Medical staff praised her resilience during physical therapy. She said she was appreciative of all the support.
“I’m healthy, and I’m good,” Ebonie said. “It means a lot for community reasons because I never expected much support, but it’s good to see them.”
Ebonie was on course to be a track athlete at Tiffin University before she collapsed during track practice and then saved by athletic trainers who used the only AED device in the school. She then was transported from Dayton Children’s Hospital to UC Medical Center.
The flight was just beginning, though. Ebonie died two more times before UC Medical Center performed a rare emergency heart transplant, which brought its own set of problems.
“We sew the heart in, and it doesn’t start,” Dr. Louis Louis, Chief of Cardiac Surgery at UC Medical Center, said. “So, we marshal the troops, get everybody there to figure out what’s wrong. We work the problem, and we eventually get the heart working, and it’s a good heart. We bought enough time for that heart to recover and to get her through that.”
Ebonie was able to pull through, and the medical staff did a good job of keeping the hope going for her mother.
“They did a really great job of not telling the stuff at the moment, you know, to give the courage and hope of what was happening,” Beverly said. “So, the day of she found out that she had her transplant, which was weeks after, that’s when I knew how bad it was. I actually did not realize how serious everything was.”
Ebonie plans to attend Sinclair for her first year of college before transferring to Tiffin University for year two.
Before that, however, Ebonie said she is most looking forward to getting to pet her dog and graduate high school.