CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Armani Vannoy is just like any high school senior.
He likes sports, has plans for college, and dreams big for the future. However, he doesn’t get to live like every other 18-year-old.
When he was 8-years-old, Vannoy needed a heart transplant. It wasn’t until this school year, ten years later, that he decided to share his story during a class project at A.L. Brown High School.
In the past, he never brought it up. Vannoy never wanted to use it as an excuse. Fast-forward to December when he was hit with a heart attack.
Vannoy was sent to Duke University Hospital in Durham, where he’s still being treated and waiting for a second heart transplant. Vannoy’s family is staying strong during this emotional and stressful process.
“We've always preached to them faith and love. Faith that if it's supposed to happen it’s going to happen and love each other and help each other as much as we can,” said his grandfather, Moses Smith.
Smith is a coach at Cox Mill High School. He’s watched his daughter and son-in-law make the drive back and forth to Durham to be at the hospital for their son, while also taking care of their other three children at home in Charlotte and continuing to work.
“It’s tiresome,” said Smith.
To make matters worse, the family currently has one working vehicle, making it difficult to try to be in so many places at once.
Basketball teams from A.L Brown High School -- where Vannoy is a senior -- and Cox Mill, where his grandfather coaches, are playing each other Friday.
The goal of the game isn’t necessarily to win; it’s to raise money for a fellow student and family in need. A Go Fund Me account has also been set up.
While the family hopes for a transplant, they pray for the future because they know that in order for Vannoy to heal, another family will feel pain.
“I know what he needs to be healthy, but on the other side of the whole process, there’s going to be sadness. You don’t want anyone else to lose a loved one, but you want your grandson to be okay and that's hard,” said Smith.