Children’s Hospital NICU room to be named after Knoxville teen

(Courtesy: Anesia McDonald)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The East Tennessee Children’s Hospital announced a room in the new neonatal intensive care unit will honor a Knoxville teen.

Emma Walker, 16, was found dead in her home with a gunshot wound. Walker was a cheerleader at Central High School and hoped to become a neonatal nurse. The hospital hopes to honor Emma by naming one of the 44 private rooms after her. An online fundraising campaign by the hospital was created to help with the room.

“When Emma’s family came into the unit they were very observant. They could tell the passion for neonatal nursing she had at that time. They were in the NICU that’s a locked down unit they probably wouldn’t have been in the unit in any other time.,” said Tracie Salvage the neonatal nurse manager.

The neonatal nurses wanted to give the Walker a gift. Salvage said, when she spotted a pink stethoscope that was it.

“That’s Emma’s stethoscope. What we need to do is give that to Emma’s family. So we had a tag put on it that said ‘Emma Walker ETCH NICU,” said Salvage.

To Donate: Emma Walker NICU Room

William Riley Gaul, 18, was charged with first degree murder, according to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office. He was a freshman at Maryville College and a football player. The Knox County Sheriff’s Office said at a press conference that Gaul fired into her home while she slept, knowing where she was in the house, and then jumped the fence and fired again.

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