Montco dad grateful many stepped up to save teen son’s life after collapsing on lacrosse field

Jim Melwert
July 28, 2020 - 4:00 am
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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Pa. (KYW Newsradio)  Scott Avvento received the call all parents dread: “I was like, ‘Hey coach, what’s up?’ He’s like, ‘Brendan collapsed.’ ”

Avvento's 14-year-old son, Brendan, collapsed on a Delaware County lacrosse field on the evening of July 14.

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He was at his home in Gilbertsville, but his wife, Heather, was at the field in Aston, more than an hour away. 

“I just hear (coach) yelling, ‘Heather Avvento! Heather Avvento!’ and then the line goes dead,” Scott Avvento recalled. 

“I want to be there right now, but I’m 52 miles away from the field,” he added. 

Brendan was stabilized at Crozer, then taken to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia by helicopter. Doctors are still trying to figure out exactly what happened, but they believe it was a stroke.

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“The neurosurgeon said, ‘We don’t understand it, but he should be dead,’ ” said Scott Avvento. He called his son’s survival “a miracle,” and credits a lot of people for doing the right thing, which helped save his son’s life.

Because of the fast response on the field, doctors think the pressure from the CPR broke up the clot in his brain, preventing further damage.

Brendan was intubated for more than a week. When the tube was finally removed, “Heather goes to Brendan, ‘I love you buddy.’ And he said, ‘I love you too.’ And when he said that – it was just beautiful,” Scott Avvento said. 

Brendan Avvento
Courtesy of Scott Avvento
He's still in the ICU, and he's starting rehab for his speech and fine motor skills.

Scott Avvento also acknowledged an unidentified woman for her kindness that day. 

“We don’t know who it is, but a curly-haired blond girl who works at MSI in Aston came over and asked if she could pray with her,” he said. 

He’s thankful, too, for community members who started a fundraiser, called BStrong, selling T-shirts and stickers to honor Brendan. Several professional sports teams have sent packages.

"The community has just been awesome, and there's been nothing but love. When Brendan comes home, I am having a shindig. I am shutting down the neighborhood and inviting every single person everywhere. And to gain entry, ya gotta hug me. Cause I'm givin' out hugs and we're gonna celebrate,” he said.