Published 02/23/16

Campus TLC played a role in Kayleigh Ballantyne's recovery

Kayleigh Ballantyne ’14 (Gorham, ME) is constantly reminded of a fateful night almost three years ago. “Unfortunately,” she says, “I still have to look at the scars every day.”

The summer before Ballantyne’s senior year at Bryant, she lived in South Boston, MA, working as a hostess in a local restaurant. After a late shift, Ballantyne was on her way back to her apartment when she was attacked. She fended off her attacker, but not before enduring multiple stab wounds and suffering a collapsed lung. She spent several days in the hospital.

“My favorite part about Bryant is the people who surround you every single day and the amount of comfort that one has being on this campus."

Ballantyne’s story was featured on Investigation Discovery's program See No Evil on Tuesday at 10 p.m. Her attacker was later identified as Edwin Alemany, who killed Amy Lord, a 24-year-old Boston resident, the day before. Ballantyne was key to his capture. Alemany was convicted of murdering Lord and attacking Ballantyne and another woman, and was sentenced to life in prison.

Once Ballantyne was released from the hospital, she immediately set about returning to campus and becoming healthy enough to play field hockey in the fall. Throughout her recovery, she recalls, the support of the Bryant community was tremendous. “President Machtley called me once a week during the summer to see how I was doing and we would shoot the breeze.

"I didn’t know if I could go back to school in the fall,” says Ballantyne, but she was glad when doctors cleared her to rejoin her teammates on the field in September. “Everyone made me feel so welcome back. President (Ronald K.) Machtley and the Department of Public Safety went out of their way to make sure I felt safe on campus.

“President Machtley ended up making Bryant feel like a second home once again,” she recalls. In presenting her with Bryant University’s Distinguished Character Award at Convocation that fall, President Machtley said Ballantyne had shown “extraordinary courage …. She was truly a heroine.”

She remembers being “really taken aback by that. It was really gratifying to receive such an impactful award and it’s something I will never forget.”

“My favorite part about Bryant is the people who surround you every single day and the amount of comfort that one has being on this campus,” Ballantyne wrote in The Archway, Bryant’s student newspaper, crediting the Department of Public Safety and her “25 sisters” on the field hockey team with making her feel safe.

Ballantyne is now speaking publicly about the incident for the first time since facing her attacker in the courtroom. “I think it is good to express your feelings when you are emotional, rather than just holding them in,” she says. “Being able to accept that you’re sad is really important.”

Since graduating, Ballantyne, a communication major, has been working as a nanny for a family in Providence. This spring, she plans to move back to Maine, and pursue a job in event management for hotels.