ATLANTA -- The Braves continued to celebrate Community Heroes Week on Wednesday, when they visited Holy Innocents Episcopal School to honor Andee Poulos, who continues to serve as an inspiration to children who have suffered brain and spinal injuries.
Poulos suffered a massive stroke due to an arteriovenous malformation that ruptured in her brain in 2011. The Atlanta-area teenager did not walk, talk, eat or drink over the next 20 months. But then she willed herself through an intense recovery, and she is now preparing to attend college next year.
"I was excited to be here," Braves pitcher Tyrell Jenkins said. "When they told us about this last week, I knew this was the one [event] I wanted to come to, just because she's been through a lot. Kudos to her for never giving up and fighting back and getting back to school and doing things a lot of people didn't think she'd be able to do."
Freddie Freeman, Ender Inciarte, Madison Younginer, Jason Hursh and broadcaster Chip Caray were part of the Braves' contingent that surprised Poulos when she entered the school's courtyard early Wednesday afternoon.
Along with announcing the honor and providing an invitation to gain a VIP experience at Wednesday night's game against the Twins, the Braves provided Poulos a $5,000 check and helped partake in a bake sale aimed to raise funds for Andee's Army, which has raised approximately $1.3 million to help families with cover insurance gaps while tending to children who have suffered brain and spinal injuries.
"That was awesome," Jenkins said. "Just seeing ... her face when we presented her with the award and check was pretty cool. Any time you can come out and see the kids and give back to the community, it's always good."
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.