Peyton Walker Foundation
by Linda Schneider, Foundation Coordinator
On November 2, 2013, a vibrant 19‐year‐old Mechanicsburg, PA girl passed away without warning in her college apartment, the victim of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). It was an inconceivable shock which left a sadness that still envelops her family and friends.
Every 3 days a student athlete dies from SCA. And that’s what motivated the creation of The Peyton Walker Foundation ‐ ‐ to help ensure that other parents won’t wake up one morning to hear they have suddenly lost a precious child. The Foundation works hard to raise awareness about SCA through education, training, and most importantly, heart screenings. And this is the good news: A previously undetected heart condition will be found in 1 out of every 100 students attending a heart screening clinic – clinics that The Peyton Walker Foundation now make available to students and athletes in their community free of charge.
SUMMARY OF PROGRAMS
In 2015, The Peyton Walker Foundation held two FREE Heart Screening in Central PA, supported by the medical team at PinnacleHealth Cardiovascular Institute. Almost 400 kids were screened with at least 6 significant findings, and 30 additional students were identified and referred for follow‐up treatment and monitoring. The major findings included cardiomyopathy, a cardiac tumor, and a Wolff‐Parkinson-White diagnosis. See Sam’s Story Below!
AED & CPR Training
The Peyton Walker Foundation offers Automated External Defibrillator (AED) & Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) training to everyone attending our heart screenings. Students have the chance to perform hands‐on CPR, and also gain a better understanding of what an AED is and how to use it.
The Foundation also hosts AED & CPR certification training free of charge to the local community.
AED Equipment and Supplies
The Foundation recently donated three AEDs to a local high school to be available for their sporting events. Now, students, athletes, and spectators will have access to an AED when sports teams are on site. Funds to cover the cost of new supplies for AED equipment at a local school were also donated.
Classroom Training Equipment
The Peyton Walker Foundation donated funds (nearly $15,000 and then was fully matched by a grant) to cover the purchase price for two Cardionics Sam II Manikins for the Physician Assistant program at King’s College in Wilkes Barre, PA. SAM II, the Student Auscultation Manikin is a new innovation in teaching and learning heart, breath & bowel sounds, and will be a tremendous teaching tool for the faculty and students.
To date, the Peyton Walker Foundation has awarded $20,000 in scholarship funds for students enrolled in the Physician Assistant program at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre (where Peyton had been enrolled as a P.A. student). Aligning with their mission, these scholarships are earmarked for students who have future careers in the healthcare field. Scholarships are awarded to students with high academic performance and high financial need.
Linda Schneider, Foundation Coordinator [email protected]
Julie Walker, Foundation Director & Peyton’s Mom [email protected]
SAM’S STORY – HOW THE PEYTON WALKER FOUNDATION IS MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Meet Sam! Soccer player and all-around athlete, Sam, and 200 local students & athletes attended The Foundation’s first free heart screening clinic in March 2015.
Sam and her family thought everything was fine. Sam had no previous issues and no family history. However, our screening partner, PinnacleHealth Cardiovascular Institute, detected an abnormal Electrocardiogram (EKG) and recommended additional testing for Sam.
As a result of this heart screening, Sam was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White-Syndrome – a condition that can cause abnormal heartbeats and can sometimes lead to Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).
Sam had surgery to correct the abnormal pathways in her heart.
According to Sam’s mom, “Not knowing what the future could have held for Samantha, attending this heart screening could have actually saved her life!”
Says Sam, “Now, I’m back to my old self and you would never know I had anything done. I’m very thankful to The Peyton Walker Foundation for having the event and to my parents for encouraging me to go. But I’m especially thankful for the guardian angel that was looking out for me that day!”
“What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.”