From High School Cheerleader to Shock Trauma Patient, Ashley Ricciuti Beats the Odds


One of the students receiving a CHF scholarship is Ashley Ricciuti of Preston, MD.  Ashley is in her second year at Chesapeake College.  Even before she graduates with a degree in nursing, Ashley is the embodiment of a very unique success.

In her senior year at Colonel Richardson High School, Ashley’s Goal, as quoted in her yearbook, was to become a nurse at Shock Trauma.  Ashley graduated on May 25, 2016.  On June 4th, she was in a catastrophic car accident and was flown to Shock Trauma by helicopter.  With multiple life threatening injuries, she had a head concussion, was put in a medically induced coma, and underwent two heart surgeries.Surgery requiring two rods, a steel plate and several pins to reconstruct her pelvis was also necessary. Because of a collapsed lung she was put on a ventilator as well.

When she and two friends were driving that night, a police car passed them.  Minutes later, they were hit by another car and that policeman heard the crash and rushed back to the scene.  He called paramedics to get the other girls on gurneys and to cut Ashley out of the car.  Although the two friends had very serious injuries, only Ashley’s was life threatening.  As fate would have it, a helicopter had just landed in Easton and was able to arrive on the scene shortly after getting the call.

Ashley was at Shock Trauma for a week and then transferred to Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital for an additional two months.  She then returned home and underwent very intensive outpatient rehab for three months.  In spite of extreme obstacles, Ashley entered Chesapeake College in September of 2016.

Although focusing and concentrating were extremely hard during that first semester, Ashley was determined to push through.  She said, “Through this entire ordeal, my mom and grandmother have been my biggest cheerleaders.”

From a near-death experience, to a successful and dedicated college student, CHF considers Ashley Ricciuti a shining star and so deserving of the full scholarship she is currently receiving.

Emphasizing the word huge, Ashley said, “It’s been a HUGE gift that I was able to receive the CHF grant.”Along with the enormous stress and costs related to the accident, Ashley needed to buy another car to get back and forth to college.  She stated again that she and her family are so grateful that her tuition was covered,thus removing the major stress of incurring additional debt.

The Children’s Home Foundation (a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Easton) is a non-profit, outreach organization that provides scholarships to residents throughout the nine counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  Their scholarship recipients include recent high school grads as well as non-traditional students who are seeking a two year technical or career degree.  In the case of a nursing degree, the scholarships may be granted for a three-year program.  In addition, camperships are given to children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend a camp.

CHF shares this inspirational story as it kicks off its annual Thanksgiving Appeal.

Submitted by Suze Chaffinch
CHF Boardmember

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