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A coach's resilience

Hopper suffered an aortic dissection. He was airlifted to the hospital for emergency heart surgery in Nevada and when he came back home they rushed him back. Now, he's making a comeback.

Posted: Jul 28, 2020 6:48 PM
Updated: Jul 28, 2020 6:53 PM

PARADISE, Calif. -- There’s no question Paradise High football coach Andy Hopper’s heart bleeds green and gold and his heart pumps through his football team. But in September 2019, Hopper’s heart couldn’t take it anymore.

“The valve from the top of my heart dissected from my heart and I felt it immediately, I was sleeping, I had my wife rush me to the hospital and that’s where it started,” said Hopper.

Hopper suffered an aortic dissection. He was airlifted to the hospital for emergency heart surgery in Nevada and when he came back home they rushed him back.

“It was the most traumatic. When they got me to the hospital, they did the tests and the one doctor said ‘I’m giving you a one percent chance to live and I need you to know that, and you need to make peace with your situation as you go on the helicopter because we don’t think you’re going to make it,” recalled Hopper.

Hopper made it, just like his resilient team.

“I felt every prayer that everyone gave to me,” said Hopper. “I don’t know how to describe the feeling but I knew people were praying for me and if it wasn’t for that I don’t think I would’ve survived.”

Hopper returned to the football field in October and was met with open arms from his Bobcats.

Now in his 25th season with the team, Hopper is taking this break to spend time with his family and is working on his new home in Paradise.

Hopper moved into his home weeks before his surgery and nearly a year after he lost his home to the Camp Fire.

“I’m a survivor. “My town has been great for me, they’ve shown me so much support and love. They call me a miracle, but I call myself the cockroach of Paradise because I just won’t die.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3213222

Reported Deaths: 37543
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles107967215314
San Bernardino2660281678
Riverside2643632857
Orange2377082704
San Diego2286322375
Santa Clara985831264
Kern90564591
Fresno858081067
Sacramento841101185
Alameda70823896
Ventura66402525
San Joaquin59665835
Contra Costa55245489
Stanislaus49065796
Tulare43574542
Monterey37527259
San Mateo34294340
San Francisco30559293
Santa Barbara27149267
Solano27041115
Imperial25707510
Merced25575331
Sonoma25141251
Kings20138161
Placer17839188
San Luis Obispo16957158
Madera14000151
Santa Cruz13009135
Marin12024165
Yolo11210138
Shasta10054129
Butte9820136
El Dorado818462
Sutter806983
Napa800548
Lassen526916
San Benito522351
Yuba517630
Tehama446846
Tuolumne347740
Nevada335574
Mendocino329336
Amador306733
Lake272432
Humboldt262427
Glenn202622
Colusa18719
Calaveras170423
Siskiyou149913
Mono11454
Inyo105129
Del Norte8742
Plumas6135
Modoc3903
Mariposa3555
Trinity3065
Sierra950
Alpine730
Unassigned00
Chico
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Feels Like: 28°
Oroville
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Chico
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Feels Like: 28°
Red Bluff
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Red Bluff
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Chico
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Hi: 46° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 28°
A Pacific storm is now moving into northern California. The clouds have arrived, the wind is getting stronger, and we can expect areas of rain and snow tonight, and it will be heavy at times. Snow will fall down to the valley floor through Wednesday morning.
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