Katherine and Ryan Palludan Memorial Organization & Tyler Welsh Endowed Scholarship



Katherine and Ryan Palludan were two wonderful scholars of the Chancellor’s Leadership Corps Scholarship Program. This page is dedicated to their story. Please view this video created in their memory.

Phil and Deborah Palludan’s  lives changed forever on Sunday August 18th2014 at 6am, when the doorbell rang and a police officer and a chaplain were standing on the doorstep.

“Even though we asked were our children okay, they would not tell us anything until we were sitting down, at which time our life as we knew it came to a stop. They told us that our son Ryan had been found unresponsive at a friend’s house and taken to the ER at Saline Memorial Hospital where his death was pronounced.

Ryan turned 18 on May 12th2013 and was due to start freshman classes on a full scholarship at UALR on Monday August 19th. Katherine and I had moved Ryan into his dorm room on Wednesday the 14th.That was the last time I saw him alive. Ryan died from an overwhelming Aortic dissection.

385631_1998612581818_1453807013_nI had taken Ryan to a local ER in the early hours of the morning of June 19thafter sudden acute onset of chest pain woke him up. We were sent home with a diagnoses of Costochondritis (inflammation of the chest wall muscle).

Ryan’s final examination showed that he was actually experiencing an aortic dissection at the time we took him to the ER, and because of his age it was not considered as a diagnosis.

After much research and consults with the genetics group at UAMS and Dr. Collins connective tissue clinic at ACH, Katherine and I were diagnosed with Loeys-Dietz Syndrome.

Katherine’s CT studies showed that her Aorta was growing too fast, and she had surgery to replace her ascending aorta on June 2nd2014. Everything appeared to go well initially. Little did we know that during her surgery Katherine was exposed to a toxic environmental mold called Rhizopus Microsporus.

This was only discovered after she had a brain aneurysm on July 29th 2014. Katherine fought so hard and was so incredibly strong and brave during the following three weeks that involved multiple surgeries and treatments. However the fungal infection was so overwhelming, Katherine passed away on August 17th 2014. A year to the day after her little brother Ryan. Katherine was 21.

We started The Katherine and Ryan Palludan Memorial Organization to help raise awareness about Loeys-Dietz Syndrome and the symptoms of early onset aortic dissection, and to support and build their scholarship at UALR in order to enable other young students to attend college and have a bright future.”

~ Phil and Deborah Palludan ~

For more information, please visit karpmo.org.

Tyler Welsh Endowed Scholarship

The family of Benjamin Tyler Welsh, a May 2014 honor graduate of Construction Management at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, has honored his memory with a scholarship.

A lead gift from the family has helped the scholarship fund named for Welsh to reach endowment. The Tyler Welsh Endowed Scholarship will assist students in the Construction Management program. Awarded to a full-time or part-time student majoring in Construction Management. Academic accomplishment, minimum 2.5 GPA,  and financial need will be strongly considered.

Benjamin (Tyler) WelshWelsh, 22, of Cabot, was killed June 28, 2014 in an accident. He was a member of the Chancellor’s Leadership Corps at UA Little Rock. Tyler will be greatly missed by many students, staff, and faculty.

For more information or to make a gift to the fund, contact Peggy Mitchel-Ferris at 501.683.7063.