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Fennville's Schools Ready in Wake of Wes Leonard Tragedy

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Teammates lift Fennville junior forward Wes Leonard following his game-winning shot in a 57-55 overtime win over visiting Bridgman on Mar. 3, 2011.
Teammates lift Fennville junior forward Wes Leonard following his game-winning shot in a 57-55 overtime win over visiting Bridgman on Mar. 3, 2011.

LANSING, MI (WHTC) - Out of the ashes of tragedy has come awareness.

In the wake of Wes Leonard’s sudden death three years ago, when the Fennville High star collapsed of an undiagnosed heart condition moments after a basketball game, a foundation begun by his family in his name to place automatic external defibrillators in schools statewide, along with proper training and drills, is beginning to bear fruit. A new state law mandates cardiac emergency response plans in place for all schools by July 1st, and in advance of that, the state departments of health and education, the American Heart Association and the Michigan Alliance for Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death of the Young have awarded 40 schools statewide with a three-year MI-HEARTsafe School designation, recognizing taking steps above and beyond to prepare for responding in a cardiac emergency situation.

Not surprisingly, all three schools in the Fennville district earned this distinction, the only three on the list from the Lakeshore.

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