Thousands raised for ailing Liberty student
An online fundraiser has collected more than $16,000 for a Liberty High School student recovering at a local hospital after he collapsed outside the school last week.
Quillen Franklin, 14, was playing basketball during the lunch hour Monday, Nov. 20, when he collapsed and went into cardiac arrest.
A Hillsboro police officer stationed at the school was able to perform CPR until paramedics arrived.
According to family members, Quillen was rushed to Providence St. Vincent Medical Center.
The boy was placed into a medically-induced coma while doctors worked to save his life. He was flown by helicopter to Randall Children's Hospital in Portland.
Do your part
Hillsboro Police Officer Emory Souza was supervising the school's lunch at noon Nov. 20 when he heard a young man had collapsed while playing basketball.
Souza ran to the scene and found the boy, pale on the ground.
Souza told the Tribune's news partner, KOIN 6 News, that it appeared the boy was dying before his eyes.
"He was extremely pale and not breathing very well ... What I consider his last gasps, something I never witnessed before," Souza said.
Souza began chest compressions and called for staff to get one of the school's automated external defibrillators, which can be used to re-start a stopped heart.
"I yelled, 'Get me an AED, I need an AED,'" Souza recalled.
School nurse Angelica Siminski grabbed the school's AED. Souza said he had to shock Quillen with the device.
"I never had to think, 'Am I going to remember what I learned?' It just all kicked in," Souza said.
According to Souza, he performed CPR for three or four minutes before a medical team showed up and took over. Quillen had to be shocked several more times by emergency responders on his way to St. Vincent Medical Center, according to his aunt, Megan Nissley.
In the two weeks since his collapse, the GoFundMe account has raised thousands to support Quillen and help pay his medical bills. Nissley said she started the online fundraiser as a way to help her family.
"His dad will be at his side the entire time," she wrote. "With time off work and no medical coverage, anything will help our family."
As of the Tribune's press deadline, the fundraiser had collected nearly $17,000. The donations have included a $2,000 donation from an anonymous benefactor, as well as $500 and $200 donations.
"His mom [and] dad have told him all about the awesome support and sweet messages he's received from friends, family, the community and everyone else around the world that has taken time to say a prayer and/or send a kind note," Nissley wrote. "Quillen still has a long road to recovery ahead. Thank you all for your continued prayers and support."
A "Quillen Tomas Franklin Donation Account" has also been set up at KeyBank.
"Quillen thanks everyone for the blessing and says he will fight his best to get healthy so he can see you all as soon as possible!" she wrote on the GoFundMe account's website.
While Souza didn't know the teen prior to Monday's incident, he said all of the kids at the school are "his kids."
"I still get a little choked up," Souza said. "These kids are my kids and I tell myself every day when I put this uniform on for the last 10 years, 'Not today, no one is going to hurt my kids today."
By Geoff Pursinger and Jennifer Dowling
Visit Hillsboro Tribune on Facebook and Twitter
Follow Geoff at @ReporterGeoff
Subscribe to our E-News and get the week's top stories in your inbox