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Boro officer recovering from heart surgery
Fundraiser held at Clubhouse to benefit family
Paquette fundraiser photo Web
The Clubhouse and the Statesboro Police Department joined forces to host a fundraiser to benefit Officer Adam Paquette, who underwent emergency open heart surgery in March to replace an aortic valve. Pictured at the fundraiser, from left, are Cpl. Matt Brinson, The Clubhouse owner Netra R. Van Tassell, Lindsay Paquette, Officer Adam Paquette, police Chief Mike Broadhead and K9 Officer Kyle Briley. - photo by JULIE LAVENDER/staff

The Clubhouse was the site earlier this week of a fundraiser to benefit Statesboro police Officer Adam Paquette. While on duty back in March, Paquette was rushed to the hospital in Savannah and underwent emergency open heart surgery for an aortic valve replacement.

Paquette’s recovery will keep him off-duty for several months. Paquette and his wife, Lindsay, who is the director of events at The Clubhouse, are expecting their first child in September.

Paquette, 31, served with the Marines for four years with two deployments in Iraq. He received two Purple Hearts during his service years. He also worked diplomatic security in Afghanistan and anti-piracy off the coast of Africa before joining the Statesboro Police Department.

Paquette’s doctors believe his medical issues began with an odd infection in the throat area during his time in Afghanistan.

“About three months ago, I started having breathing problems,” Paquette said. “I was born with a bicuspid valve that I’d known about since I was a kid, but it didn’t prevent me from sports or joining the Marines.”

Apparently, the infection lay dormant, according to his doctor, but eventually led to congestive heart failure.

“I kept getting hurt, and I couldn’t figure out why,” he said. “I lost 22 pounds due to the infection I didn’t know I had. My body fought it for a while, but then I got run down and didn’t feel well. I felt like I had really bad asthma.”

One night when his breathing was especially difficult, he stopped by the local emergency room while on duty, thinking he’d get checked out quickly and be on his way back to work.

“I was sleeping when he first called,” Lindsay said. “He told me not to bother coming with him and he’d call when he was done, that they were running a couple of tests.

She said the call came much later, when she was on the way to work at The Clubhouse, and was not what she expected to hear.

“Lori [Mallard], who works here at The Clubhouse, put me in her car and drove me to [the hospital in] Savannah,” Adam Paquette said. “They took us by ambulance to St. Joe’s and started bloodwork to see where the infection originated.”

Just a couple of days later, doctors performed the emergency surgery on his heart, and he spent 10 days in the hospital.

Still recovering, Paquette said: “Lindsay and I are so blessed to have been embraced by such an incredible community. The people of Statesboro have been so welcoming from the very beginning, and now with our current circumstances have shown us how truly generous and thoughtful people really are.”

 

Moving to Statesboro

Originally from New Haven, Vermont, Paquette relocated from New York to work for the SPD in January 2016. His wife, from Farmington, New York, relocated to join her husband and began working for The Clubhouse in the fall of 2016.

Cpl. Matthew Brinson, Paquette’s supervisor, and K9 Officer Kyle Briley organized the fundraiser and garnered help from fellow officers, the Statesboro Police Officers Foundation, friends and the community.

“We passed the hat for donations first, but I decided that wasn’t enough,” Brinson said. “I wanted to do more.”

Officers donated more than 700 sick hours for Paquette, too.

“We had great community support with donations for the raffle,” Brinson said. Raffle tickets were sold at The Clubhouse, Farmers and Merchants Bank, TC Outdoors and Anderson’s General Store.

“This surgery came as a shock to us both,” Paquette said. “My fellow officers at the Statesboro Police Department, the owners and staff at The Clubhouse, as well as the entire community have rallied around us to make this a more bearable recovery.

“Lindsay and I have never experienced this type of support prior to moving south. It really is a testament to how great and strong a community is — when people come together for others in their time of need. We are honored to call this home.”

Mallard, director of marketing at The Clubhouse and friend of Lindsay’s, said the Paquettes are very grateful for the kindness they’ve been shown.

“Adam and Lindsay are overwhelmed by our southern hospitality and generosity, the support and outpouring of care and love — all the things that make this a great place to live and raise our families,” she said.

Mallard said if folks still would like to help the Paquettes, “Checks can be made out to or donations given to the Statesboro Police Officers Foundation and can be dropped off at the Statesboro Police Department on West Grady."

 

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