Marshville Elementary Parents and Teachers Bring First Day of School To Student in the Hospital

CHARLOTTE, NC – A very special day of school for a six-year-old boy from Marshville. He couldn’t make it to Marshville Elementary because he’s in the hospital in Charlotte. So school parents, teachers, and students brought school to him.

“Cole Strong!”

Shouted the group inside of the Novant Children’s Hospital theater. Cole Russell’s face said it all. The six-year-old’s mouth wide open in amazement as he walked into the room using a walker and assistance from his dad.

“He has remained so positive and so strong through the whole process,” said Emily Russell, Cole’s mother.

She says her Marshville 1st grader is hardly ever without a smile, but for the last two months, he’s been struggling with medical problems.

“His intestines wrapped around his aortic valve and he lost all blood supply and oxygen to his intestines. resulting in an emergency surgery,” explained Emily.

Cole and Emily have spent each day at the hospital. Cole lost some of his intestines during surgery, but he continues to improve.

Emily says Cole ate real food for the first time in weeks on Monday.

“He was able to have french toast for breakfast and a yogurt and banana. and for lunch he had a few bites of a cheeseburger and french fries,” said Emily with a smile.

“When something like this happens, we always show up for each other and it’s a super special place to be,” said Stephanie Sims, a teacher at Marshville Elementary School.

Sims helped organize the event. Nearly 50 people made the drive after the first day of school to celebrate with their buddy, Cole.

“It kind of exploded into this big wonderful thing,” said Sims, “Marshville is known for the family we have.”

It’s a first day the first grader won’t soon forget.

“Cole Strong!”

Cole will be in the hospital for at least another two weeks. Emily says he’ll then spend two to four weeks at Levine Children’s Hospital for rehab.