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Glancer Magazine

SUNDAY AT 1PM | Surprise “Drive-By Celebration” Planned for Teen Survivor of Sudden Cardiac Arrest


EVERYONE is invited to participate in a Naperville “Surprise Drive-By Celebration” Sunday, October 10 at 1:00pm in central Naperville!


In the early hours of Saturday, August 28, Riley McDonald’s family got a phone call that their son and brother was in the ER.

Riley, a physically fit, fully healthy 18-year-old boy, was at college with his roommates and friends when his heart stopped … and Riley actually was medically dead for several minutes. One friend whom he was with, a premed student named Tommy, resuscitated him and saved his life. After arriving at the hospital (near Purdue, where he was for his first week of college), he was constantly seizing and in a medically induced coma. He was then put on a ventilator where he remained in a coma for several days.

His team of doctors had (and still have) no idea as to why his heart just stopped, and prognoses were changing metorically; the family was told “he may not ever again have brain activity” to “he does have brain activity” and everything in between. It was a back-and-forth emotional rollercoaster for them.

Riley received the best possible care, and is finally now home as of last Wednesday; he is still recovering and working to regain full function.

His family created a website for loved ones to keep abreast of information and updates:

#smileyrileystrong Riley’s sister, Dayna, has organized a SURPRISE “Drive-By Celebration” event and EVERYONE is invited: Sunday October 10 at 1:00pm driving start near Gartner Road and Edgewater Drive. Cars should begin lining up along Edgewater Drive facing Gartner Road between 12:30-12:45pm. Naperville Police presence has been requested.

At 1pm, the drive-by will begin by turning right onto Gartner, right onto Washington street, then it’s the first right onto Meisinger and first cul de sac on the right, Stoos lane. People will drive down the cul de sac to the house at the end at 918 Stoos lane, loop through and continue on with honking, yelling, leaving decorations/balloons/whatever fun elements for Riley, and CELEBRATING his homecoming after a long month of pulling through.

“My parents as well as Riley do NOT know about this event; my mom is a cancer survivor and I want this event to be as big a surprise to them as it is to Riley,” Dayna explains, emphasizing how important this will be to her family. “This was the worst day of ALL of our lives, just hearing that my baby brother, and my parents’ baby, DIED for no reason. Please come celebrate with us that Riley is home and recouperating! Thank you for your time, we hope to make this a big event!!!”


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