Cherry Creek soccer players help raise money for coach dealing with post-surgery complications

Problem Solvers

DENVER (KDVR) — Freshman players on Cherry Creek High School’s soccer team put together a GoFundMe to help a beloved coach who is dealing with health complications after routine surgery.

Coach Andy Barnard with CCHS is the security specialist and soccer coach for both the boys’ and girls’ freshman teams. He also coaches a club team outside of school. It was at a club team practice he was helping play goalie when he tore his meniscus.

“I tried to make a save, I stood back up and my knee just popped,” Barnard said.

Barnard said he went in for surgery on Friday the fifth and just five days later he began to not feel well. He said he had a terrible cramp in his leg, he started to get light-headed and nauseous. He said he then fainted and his roommate took him back to the hospital.

“I had a blood clot in my leg. I can’t say it’s 100% from surgery but with the risk of surgery it probably was from that,” Barnard said.

Now back at home, Barnard has to rest. He also has to inject himself once a day with blood thinners for five days then he’s on blood thinners for the next three months to thin it out.

“It was a very scary experience for me,” Barnard said.

Since he’s only been working for CCHS for less than a year, he said he has gained minimal leave time.

“The district’s policy is you have to work there for a year to be eligible for sick time. So that left me with about 13 hours to stay off,” Barnard said.

But his soccer students and parents are stepping in to help. They’ve created a GoFundMe to help with not only Barnard’s medical bills but also money to keep him stable while he recovers. Barnard said at this point he has no set date to get back to work.

“I know it can be tough to build a career in soccer as a coach and have the stripped away from you because of injury that cost a lot of money,” Maggie Johnson, a soccer player at CCHS said.

Maggie and her mom Karen Johnson started and shared the GoFundMe page. Karen, also a teacher at CCHS said coach Barnard does a lot for the students and deserves all the help.

“I love you so much I hope you’re doing ok and I can’t wait for you to coach again,” Maggie said.


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