That call would be the beginning of a 12-day journey that would end in tragedy.
“I can’t tell you how a perfectly healthy 16-year-old boy can be making his own peanut butter sandwich late Wednesday night, getting his own tea out the fridge and head up to bed like any other teenager in the state or in the country is doing. And then within 24 hours is fighting for his life,” Dawn said.
Andre, an easygoing sophomore at Lawrence North High School, loved YouTube and knew everything about video games; for his birthday in April, he asked for a game that wasn’t set to be released until December, and his parents planned on getting it for him when it was released. He also loved photography and annoying his siblings and excelled at basketball and bowling.
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Born prematurely at 25 weeks, he and twin sister Abby spent months in the hospital before they were brought home and later adopted by Dawn and her husband, Johnny. Though Andre was diagnosed with moderate autism, his parents were fierce advocates and he thrived with a positive attitude and a smile on his face. “He always just flew through,” said Dawn.