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At the heart

Of their Art Cont. I HEART ECHO Everyone needs to have a mother like Keri O’Farrell. O'Farrell has spent a lifetime drawing. "My mother is an artist, and she has always encouraged this ability in me," O'Farrell said. “One of the things that I love about my mom is that no matter what I am doing, she was and is always there and is all for whatever I am doing,” O’Farrell said. And in O’Farrell’s case, this is a lot of things, whether it is making art, boxing, snow shoeing, playing the drums, or long-distance running. When she learned about the cover art competition, she turned to one of her many talents, drawing, and created her oil pastel piece, “I heart Echo." She employs a wide range of media in her artistic endeavors but chose oil pastels this time as they are easily manipulated yet create crisp lines. “Watercolors are pretty tough and charcoal is nice but you have to be careful with it. On the fly, I wanted to use oil pastels,” said O'Farrell, who created her bold and beautiful heart in under an hour. The title of the piece succinctly sums up what O’Farrell feels every day as she rises and heads to work. Discovering echocardiography provided her with a passion for her professional life. O’Farrell is a sonographer at the University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson in an echo lab with IAC Echocardiography accreditation. Her responsibilities include 2-D, M-Mode echocardiograms, and transesophageal echocardiograms. In 2006, O’Farrell moved to Tucson. “There was a coach down here who had been in the 1968 Olympics that I wanted to run with to get faster times,” said O’Farrell, who has competed in the Boston, New York, Chicago, and Tucson Marathons in addition to her absolute favorite, Grandma’s Marathon, held in her hometown of Duluth, Minnesota. As she began her new running career in Tucson, O’Farrell was working at UPS and at St. Joseph's Hospital as a nursing assistant thinking she might want to go to nursing school but she wasn’t sure. “Then one day this guy Moses comes down the hallway with an echo machine. He was going into the room of the patient I was helping,” O’Farrell said. “When he put that probe on the man’s chest, the clouds broke, the angels sang. When you know something, you know. When I saw that man’s heart on the screen, I swear, the angels really were singing. I knew it was what I wanted to do the rest of my life.” O’Farrell turned to Moses and said, “What do I need to do so I can do what you do?” 12  / / /

Moses, who was a sonographer, made a phone call to the Keith Mauney Ultrasound Training Institute in Irving, Texas on O’Farrell’s behalf, and though the program was full, they made room for her. O’Farrell set out to read up on cardiology. “I went online to find books on echo and Moses said that Dr. Feigenbaum was always good to read so I got his book, "Echocardiography” and read it like a ravenous child. I just wanted more and more and more. Anytime I got a chance, I would order the newest ASE book on echo. I continuously work at being a better sonographer,” O’Farrell said. Like Font, O’Farrell remains captivated by echocardiography. She said, “Every time you go into a patient’s room and use the wand, it is like a little mystery. You have to hunt and dig and look and make sure you are helping them. Every heart is different. It is like a snowflake. The same, but intricately different.”

“I heart Echo.” by Keri O’Farrell, RDMS

Profile for ASE - American Society of Echocardiography

Echo VOL 2 | Issue 1  

Echo VOL 2 | Issue 1  

Profile for ase_echo