12-year-old celebrates 6th grade graduation after heart transplant, stroke

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Monday, June 24, 2024
Boy graduates 6th grade after heart transplant and stroke
Brandon Pineda attended school at Blythedale's Day Hospital Program in Valhalla.

VALHALLA, New York -- Brandon Pineda is ready to face the 7th grade after surviving a heart transplant and stroke.

He spent the past eight months recovering at Blythedale Children's Hospital in Valhalla, New York, where he graduated from the 6th grade.

Once he had his heart transplant, Brandon couldn't go back to his regular school due to his medical fragility.

Brandon's doctors needed to ensure his body accepted his new heart, so Blythedale's Day Hospital Program was the best place for him to learn.

He's attended the program for medically complex children since February.

The program allowed him to receive comprehensive therapies daily and return home at night.

It's the only hospital in the state with its own public school district on-site, Mount Pleasant Blythedale School.

Now, Brandon is ready to return to his community school where he graduated from the fifth grade last June.