Copperas Cove: Local school raises money for children born with heart defects

Published: Apr. 9, 2021 at 9:17 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A local elementary school is taking the fight against heart defects in children into their own workouts.

Students and staff at Martin Walker Elementary School in Copperas Cove are raising money with the American Heart Association to help children born with heart defects.

For many of the students and staff like 3rd Grader Emerson Turner, it hits very close to home.

“This fundraiser was fun because we can help save people’s lives with heart problems,” she said.

Turner was born with a rare congenital malformation of the heart known as Tetralogy of Fallot. She had to undergo open heart surgery in order to survive.

Today, she’s hoping to make a difference.

“It really means a lot to me,” she said.

“We would be practicing things like jump rope because it helps with your heart and it helps you exercise.”

With the help of her P.E. Coach Jennifer Wilson and her classmates, they began creating videos to promote healthy exercise for children, all asking for donations.

Wilson says especially after her nephew survived heart defects when he was born, any chance for her and the students to give back was critical.

“It makes me really proud of all of our students,” she said.

“They did great this year. Many of them were able to send out videos and some of them even sent out emails.”

Low and behold, the fundraiser helped raise more than $6,000. As an added bonus, both Wilson and the principal were covered with slime by the students.

Regardless of the slimy punishment, Wilson says she’s proud to help save lives.

“At first with COVID this year, I thought we weren’t going to raise as much money,” she said.

“So, I set a goal of $5,000 and then we just exceeded it and it was awesome.”

Anyone who’d like to donate to the fundraiser can find more information from the American Heart Association’s website.

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