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.

Confirmed Cases: 541339

Reported Deaths: 10021
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2012004869
Riverside39741770
Orange38711697
San Bernardino34635490
San Diego31127583
Kern21724152
Fresno16625157
Alameda12884206
San Joaquin12119192
Santa Clara11336196
Sacramento10544155
Tulare10334196
Imperial9601240
Stanislaus9408151
Contra Costa8532134
Ventura795379
San Francisco722863
Santa Barbara665268
San Mateo5891120
Marin519978
Monterey512035
Merced485562
Kings445356
Solano395939
Sonoma320842
Madera220836
San Luis Obispo204716
Placer203920
Yolo166042
Santa Cruz12134
Butte10608
Napa10259
Sutter8936
El Dorado7161
San Benito6994
Lassen6330
Yuba5724
Shasta4119
Mendocino36310
Colusa3614
Glenn3523
Nevada3211
Humboldt2804
Tehama2711
Lake2122
Amador1560
Mono1531
Tuolumne1472
Calaveras1361
Del Norte900
Siskiyou900
Inyo841
Mariposa602
Plumas340
Trinity50
Modoc40
Sierra30
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
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Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
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Oroville
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Paradise
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Chester
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Red Bluff
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Willows
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Although temperatures began to rise today around northern California, our weather was still quite pleasant for early August. Enjoy the below-average highs will we have them, because hotter weather will return soon.
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