LECOM Students Raise $1,020 for Girl with Rare Heart Condition
Gift Will Allow Girl's Family to Buy Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

KayLeigh Faulkner is the granddaughter of Lee Faulkner, a local contractor who provided oversight during the construction of the LECOM John M. & Silvia Ferretti Medical Fitness and Wellness Center. During one of Lee’s weekly meetings with the Provost, Silvia M. Ferretti, DO, he shared the story of his granddaughter, recently diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome and her need for an automated external defibrillator (AED).

LECOM students presented a check for $1,020 to KayLeigh Faulkner, 11, who suffers from a rare heart condition. The donation will allow KayLeigh's family to buy an automated external defibrillator (AED).

In response to the identified need, the students from the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) recently presented a check for $1,020 to the family of 11-year-old Erie resident KayLeigh Faulkner who suffers from the rare heart disease. Long QT Syndrome is an inherited cardiac condition that causes abnormal heart rhythms which can lead to sudden death. Faulkner’s family will use LECOM’s donation to purchase an automated external defibrillator (AED) that KayLeigh can use at home and while traveling.

More than 40 medical students from three clubs, including the LECOM’s Undergraduate American Academy of Osteopathy (UAAO), the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP) and Pediatric Club joined forces to raise the money by selling osteopathic manipulation tables to fellow students.

Jantira Thomas, a second-year medical student and president of the Undergraduate American Academy of Osteopathy chapter, presented the check to KayLeigh and her family. Thomas said doing the fundraiser was a “heartwarming” experience and encouraged the students to learn about Long QT Syndrome and helped in their understanding of the cardiovascular system.

Alisia Johnson said her daughter KayLeigh is a competitive cheerleader. Having the AED with her at all times will allow her to continue doing the activity she loves. The defibrillator is portable, so KayLeigh can take it with her while traveling to cheerleading competitions and sporting events.

KayLeigh Faulkner, 11, (holding check) and her family are all smiles during a special ceremony and reception at LECOM in her honor. Joining KayLeigh are her sisters Samantha Faulkner, 6, and Grace Faulkner, 2, (front row), Madison Brochey, 9, and mother Alisia Johnson (back row).

“It’s such a relief to my family to know that we have this safeguard for KayLeigh,” said Alisia Johnson. “It’s there and hopefully we’ll never use it, but if we need it – time is life when it comes to the heart – so this gives us real peace of mind.”

KayLeigh Faulkner said she was surprised and excited when she found out the LECOM students were raising money for her. “I think that it’s really nice that they took time out of their busy days to do this for me,” KayLeigh said.

“I am extremely proud of the students,” said student government advisor and LECOM Assistant Professor Theodore Makoske, MD. “The minute they heard about the situation they stepped up and put together a wonderful fundraiser and, understanding the urgency, they were able to raise the money in under two months."

The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and LECOM School of Pharmacy offer innovative and affordable education in osteopathic medicine and pharmacy. From campuses in Erie, Pennsylvania, Greensburg, Pennsylvania andBradenton, Florida, LECOM provides student-centered pathways to prepare the next generation of healthcare professionals. Prepare yourself for medicine as your life’s profession.

September 29, 2010
  • Comment