Grand Strand teenager home from hospital following leukemia, COVID-19 diagnosis

Grand Strand teenager home from hospital following leukemia, COVID-19 diagnosis
Ariel Griffith, a student at Ocean Bay Middle School, was diagnosed with leukemia after contracting COVID-19. (Source: Lauren Hocin)

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – Welcome home, Ariel!

After weeks in a hospital, a Grand Strand teenager who contracted COVID-19 and then learned she had leukemia is back home.

Lauren Hocin said her daughter, 13-year-old Ariel Griffith, came home from the hospital on Friday, Jan. 15.

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Ariel has received support from all across the country as her story began to go viral.

A student at Ocean Bay Middle School, Ariel got sick in December, just before Christmas.

She was taken to Grand Strand Medical Center, where she was treated for COVID-19. According to Hocin, Ariel’s condition worsened and they took her to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston where they ultimately learned that she has leukemia.

Ariel was placed in the intensive care unit on a ventilator. By late December, she was taken off life support and the ventilator was removed.

The family started getting an outpouring of support on social media, which is when they asked people to start mailing cards to Tavern in the Forest, which is Ariel’s stepfather, Aaron Hocin’s, restaurant.

Over the past few weeks, they have been inundated with cards from all over the country, including Hawaii, Virginia and Florida. Several bags full of letters were sent to Ariel at MUSC.

Since Ariel missed the holidays, the family said they’ll be redoing Christmas in January.

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