Project ADAM: Lawson’s Legacy and Le Bonheur Children’s to place heart defibrillators and offer CPR training at local schools in memory of Lawson Wherry

Lawson’s Legacy, the local chapter of Project ADAM, has been established at Le Bonheur Children’s. Lawson’s Legacy aims to prevent death due to sudden cardiac arrest in children and teens. The goal is to educate students and staff through training on life-saving programs like CPR. Based at Le Bonheur, Lawson’s Legacy is committed to making automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in schools throughout the Mid-South.

Collierville High School will conduct its first Lawson’s Legacy drill on February 14 at 1 p.m.

Project ADAM began in 1999 after the death of Adam Lemel, a 17-year-old Whitefish Bay, WI, high school student who collapsed and died while playing basketball. Adam suffered a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in which ventricular fibrillation occurred, a condition in which the ventricles cannot pump blood into the body. Defibrillation, or use of an AED, could have saved his life. Adam's parents, Patty Lemel-Clanton and Joe Lemel, collaborated with Children's Hospital of Wisconsin’s Herma Heart Institute to create this program in Adam's memory.

The local chapter is named after Memphis native, Lawson Wherry. A senior at Arkansas State, Lawson was a healthy and active young adult who showed no signs of heart dysfunction before his heart suddenly stopped. Almost 1,600 people attended his funeral – a true testimony to Lawson’s legacy. To share and further his legacy, his family joined the effort to bring Project ADAM to the Mid-South by creating “Lawson’s Legacy” at Le Bonheur Children’s. This program is part of Le Bonheur’s vision to improve children’s health in our surrounding area.

To learn how to prepare for a cardiac emergency in your school or community, email

Posted: 2/13/22