The Abbott Family has firm roots in Chester County, PA, with one side hailing from Paoli, and the other from Malvern. One unique fact about this family is that both heads of household share similar first names, Francis and Frances. For the many community members who know them, it is not uncommon to reference them as "Franny He" and "Franny She."
Mr. and Mrs. Franny Abbott developed strong and lasting ties with Chester County Hospital early in their life together. All four sons were born at Chester County Hospital. The first three were delivered by Uncle Joe, the esteemed Dr. Joseph L. Abbott who co-founded Chester County OB/GYN and helped deliver over 8,000 babies during his medical career.
When their first-born, Tres (aka Francis III), was two years old, he woke up in the early morning hours in tremendous pain. The Abbotts rushed him to their pediatrician, Dr. Vijaya Lakshmi Naidu. Upon seeing Tres, she instructed them to go immediately to the hospital, and she followed. At the hospital, Dr. Naidu administered medicine for bacterial meningitis and resuscitated the toddler who had gone into cardiac arrest. Once stabilized, Dr. Naidu and the team at Chester County Hospital placed Tres in a medical 'bubble' where he remained in a coma for three weeks under around-the-clock care.
Miraculously, Tres had a full recovery and was a happy, healthy toddler…who became a big brother shortly after his hospital stay. The Abbotts are forever grateful for the life-saving care that Dr. Naidu and the Chester County Hospital team provided for their son.
Gratitude is a powerful emotion and Mrs. Abbott made a personal vow to give back to the hospital in any way she could to help express her gratitude and to help other families experiencing medical hardships with their children. So in 1985, the Abbotts began their journey as volunteers and philanthropists at Chester County Hospital. Mrs. Abbott founded a volunteer group -- Pediatric Pals -- that helped serve the youngest patients at the hospital. Then she got involved with the May Festival Gala. Over decades, as their family grew, the Abbotts continued to remain involved. As Mrs. Abbott recounts, "The hospital has always been a trusted resource for our family. With four boys, we were in the Emergency Department a lot."
It is second nature for the Abbotts to volunteer their time and resources to support the local community, something that their families modeled for them while growing up. Mr. Abbott shared: "We both grew up in families who were very fortunate and have always given back to the community in some way through effort or resources. We feel it is important to pay it forward, and we have instilled that in our children as well."
Illustrating this, the Abbotts have been very active in supporting The Westtown School (their boys’ alma mater) and Stroud Water Research Center, to name two of many local organizations they are dedicated to serving. They realize the ripple effect that a peer's action can have and they feel it is imperative to help educate others about giving back. "It is important that those who CAN give back, DO give back," Mr. Abbott believes.
In 2010, Mr. Abbott joined the Chester County Hospital and Health System Board, and he served on the search committee that hired hospital president, Mike Duncan. In addition, he joined The Chester County Hospital Foundation Board in 2012 and became Chairman of the Foundation in 2013. He has dedicated his time and talent to the hospital during a very transformative era in its history and helped inspire others within the community to get involved. Chester County Hospital is grateful for the Abbott Family’s volunteerism, leadership and philanthropic commitment to the health and well-being of our families, friends and neighbors.