ARLINGTON — Local country musician Jesse Taylor’s benefit concert on Saturday, Jan. 4, generated more than $1,000 for 6-year-old Lacey Ernst’s heart transplant account with the Children’s Organ Transplant Association, with the estimated total collection rising with each count, but she’s not out of the woods just yet.
“Lacey received her new heart on Nov. 4, just in time for her 6th birthday,” said Mary Jane Harmon, managing director of the Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce, which conducted raffles to add to Lacey’s account at COTA. “Her body started rejecting her new heart, so she was in ICU for about five weeks for rejection procedures.”
Harmon reported that Lacey seemed to have rounded the corner on Thanksgiving Day of last year, when she was moved out of the ICU, but even after she returned to her home in Arlington on Dec. 13, she was unable to receive visitors or leave the house, except to make return visits to Seattle Children’s Hospital. Taylor had planned to visit Lacey and her parents on Tuesday, Jan. 7, after the concert, but medical complications forced that meeting to be postponed for a while longer yet.
“Lacey will undergo a heart biopsy in the next two weeks,” Harmon said. “The family is asking for prayers for this procedure.”
While the initial estimate of the benefit concert’s proceeds was $1,205.02 for COTA, that total was revised within the week to $1,314.02 for Lacey’s transplant account.
Among those who Harman thanked, on behalf of the Chamber and the Ernst family, were Taylor for donating his time and talent, Dwayne Lane’s for sponsoring the event, Gene and Debi Morgan of Magnolia Hall in downtown Arlington for donating the venue, Rick Carpentier and R.J. Davis of the Medallion Hotel in Smokey Point for giving of their personal time, and KCIS Radio for promoting the event from Dec. 30 through Jan. 4, as well as all those who attended the concert and made additional donations.