Kindergarten class takes field trip to visit classmate who suffered a stroke

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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — Although it was a chilly morning on Friday, that didn't stop Michele Sheffer's Kindergarten class at Mcgaheysville Elementary from putting on their jackets and walking to their classmate's house.

One teacher made and brought Luke a dinosaur blanket that he's seen with, she said she made it because Luke loves dinosaurs.

But it wasn't just any trip – their classmate had been out of school for weeks after suffering a stroke.

Jake Guinn said his son, Luke, suffered from a stroke a few weeks ago while on their family trip to Nags Head. The stroke caused Luke to be hospitalized at Children's Hospital of the Kings Daughters in Norfolk for several weeks.

"Back in September, Luke had a stroke — he's only five years old, so something like this to happen is exceedingly rare," Guinn said. "But he did have a stroke that has taken him out of school for some time."

Luke returned home at the end of October after more than 40 days recovering at CHKD. Community members welcomed Luke back home, including local first responders.

Even though Luke was back, his class still wanted to do something special for his return.

Luke's parents and teacher, Ms.Sheffer, worked together to set up a field trip where his classmates could walk to his home near the elementary school and show how much they appreciated him.

"He loves reading about animals and the ocean, so the children made him cards and we each took him one of his favorite books," Sheffer said.

When Luke's classmates arrived at his home, they welcomed Luke back with a song that caused Luke to smile.

"To see his class, you know, brave the chilly weather today to come out and see him, It really means a lot, it shows us," Guinn said. "That shows us he has the support that is necessary to improve and do better."

Luke's parents said they are hopeful that Luke can return to his class by January, but his classmates are already planning for him to come back.

"We're very excited for him to come back to class," Sheffer said. "We're already planning for him to come to our Thanksgiving feast in two weeks so that will be his first visit back to our school."

Before Luke's classmates had to say goodbye and head back to school for the day, Luke had one thing he wanted to say.

"I think my classmates love me," Luke said.

Sheffer said Luke's class and teachers will be honoring Luke for the rest of the school year by wearing their #LukeStrong T-shirts that were provided by the school's PTA.