Alex Hoover has a terminal heart condition and his mum is fighting for his right to attend school and spend his last days leading a normal life.

Rene Hoover, of Alabama is fighting for her son to lead a normal life and attend school because she does not want her son’s last days spent enduring medical procedures and medication. Her son has a terminal heart condition, aortic mitral valve stenosis. A condition which causes the heart’s mitral valve to narrow and restrict blood flow.

“The last procedure we had done, it took us three weeks to get him to go to bed at night because he was afraid that if he went to sleep he would wake up and something would be wrong or that he’d be hurt,” Mrs Hoover told The Associated Press. A successful resuscitation and subsequent surgeries are unlikely to significantly improve the teen’s prognosis, she said.  “He would have to live his fears every single day,” she said.

Limestone County school board officials have said they can’t allow Alex to attend school because they won’t recognise the advance directive that Rene has drawn up to ensure the 14-year-old is not revived if he goes into cardiac arrest. Officials say they can’t follow that directive if his heart stops at school.

“We just want him to have comfort and peace,” Hoover said. “Emotionally, it is probably the hardest thing I think a human being could go through; knowing that you have to choose not if your child’s gonna die, but how your child’s gonna die.”

Such a heartbreaking story.

Do you think the school should make an allowance? Or is it totally understandable for the sake of the other students?

Image source Facebook
  • Very interesting topic. Hard decision to make.


  • I wonder if the family lives near the hospital that they frequently attend. The hospital may have a small school within its system. I personally knew a boy who had a teminal condition. He went to the school in the hospital and loved it. If he was having or needed treatment all the staff and equipment was nearby. Even if it only used to keep patients comfortable in such circumstances.
    The staff at the school may not have the first aid training or enough staff to cope with the other pupils in such circumstances. If the lad did unfortunately pass away at school, the staff would need to give the ambulance crew the legal paperwork.


  • This is a very difficult situation. Hopefully all parties can find a solution that suits everyone’s needs.


  • Very hard situation but I suppose his mum just want him to live the rest of his life as a normal child


  • Very sad but I think he should be able to enjoy the time he has. But it would have a huge effect on other kids at school if he was to go into cardiac arrest and wasnt assisted to revive….scarred for life either way.


  • What a heart breaking situation, It would be lovelly for Alex to live out the last of his life with some normality, school is a big part of childrens lives. I can however, see both sides of the story.


  • it is such a tough decision to make.


  • Such a sad situation. As a parent you can feel for his mum and share her reasoning that she wants her sons last days to be as normal as possible but you can also understand the schools responsibility aswell. Either way it’s a tragic situation.


  • It should be his choice. Why can’t they make this allowance for him. At least he wants to go to school and interact with people. He only wants to live his life normally


  • Horrible dilemma to be in – however I think the school should overrule the wishes of the parent here no matter how noble the parent’s wishes are.


  • My heart goes out to this family. Schools must have policies in place but this is one topic I am betwixt and between. I can understand the schools stance, but know how much socialisation and normal life will impact. I will never forget when I accompanied our neighbour to hospital by ambulance a few years ago, and she was revived twice in front of me. I was not aware of her DNR order at that stage, and while the outcome that day was good, there is a lot to think about before a DNR order is written up.


  • I can see both sides here and would hate to choose. The mum just wants her son to live his final days as normally as possible. Totally understandable. The school doesn’t think the other kids should be subjected to possibly witnessing this child die. Also totally understandable.


  • Ooh, this is very tricky. Absolutely, he should be allowed to go to school. But I understand the school’s stance on the Do Not Revive directive. In any circumstances, that would be a very difficult rule to adhere to, especially if it were to happen within the school confines and around school children. At the end of the day though, he is a young boy who deserves the live his life to the fullest while he can.


  • Oh my God. What a heartbreaking story. I so feel for this family. :(


  • What a heartbreaking story!
    I understand the Mum’s point of view & the schools.
    What a terribly difficult position to be in on both parties behalf.
    I hope an agreement can be reached.


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