Stefanie Ardizzone-Johnson and her son, Alex.

By Jill Fox

A local elementary school teacher is morning the loss of her son after a life-long battle with liver failure.

Alex Ardizzone, 26, passed away Sunday morning at Jackson Memorial Hospital. His mother said he never thought of it as a fight, even though his first liver transplant took place at 18-months old.

As time went on, that liver became toxic to his system, and he underwent a second liver transplant at the age of three, followed by seizures at age 10, and an Epilepsy diagnosis.

Living with these medical issues for years, Alex still worked hard in school, and according to his mom, Alex always remained such a sweet, gentle, and loving person.

Known to her students as Mrs. A.J., Stefanie was a teacher at Park Trails Elementary School, first in fifth grade and later in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math).

Keith, Stephanie, Alex, Kaitlyn, and Joshua

She currently lives in Palm Beach with her husband, Keith, and twins Kaitlyn and Joshua, who are going into fifth grade.

Stefanie’s friend and colleague, since 2007, Shari Tromer, set up a GoFundMe to take some of the overwhelming financial burden and stress away from Alex’s family. Tromer taught with Stefanie, first at Winston Park Elementary in Coconut Creek and later at Park Trails.

Just under $16,000 of the $20,000 goal has been raised.

Inspired by his long-time friend and former colleague, local artist, Joseph Gormley, also wanted to help the Ardizzone family by donating a painting for an upcoming raffle in honor of Alex.

Gormley, who worked with Stefanie at Park Trails, has dedicated his art to raising money for his community. All donations from the raffle will support Healing Hearts, the organization that gave Stefanie a place to stay while Alex was hospitalized during COVID-19.

Raffle Tickets can be purchased any time via Venmo, $5 for one or $20 for five tickets, with a live drawing taking place on Thursday, June 25, at 7 p.m. at Deja Blue in Parkland.

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Author Profile

Jill Fox
Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked on the public relations side as well as the television side of marketing for NBC Universal. A true Floridian, Fox grew up in Ormond Beach and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Advertising from the University of Miami. During college, Fox enjoyed working at Walt Disney World. She loves living in Parkland with her husband, Brian and their two children, Madden, 10 and Randi, 7.