I wish more people knew that Sudden Cardiac Arrest can happen to anyone, at any time, regardless of age, race, or gender.
“Jill, get the AED. Tom, call 911 and wait for the ambulance. One, two, three, four, five …” This is the sound of saving a life. Unfortunately, at some schools or sporting events, one piece of equipment is often missing in situations like these – an Automatic External Defibrillator or AED.
Actually, in my community, a 14-year old boy named Louis Acompora died from commotio cordis while playing goalie in a lacrosse game. He was struck in the chest with a lacrosse ball from a routine shot with perfect or not so perfect timing. His heart quivered instead of pumping blood, resulting in his death. Having an AED on the field would have saved Louis’s life. Think about it, a $1,300 piece of equipment could have saved a boy’s life. As a lacrosse goalie, his story resonates with me.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of people die from Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Many of these deaths can be prevented when AEDs are present. That is why each year, I volunteer at the Louis Acompora Jamboree. The purpose of the Jamboree is to educate young athletes about preventable Sudden Cardiac Death. In fact, the Acompora Foundation was instrumental in getting a law passed requiring all schools and athletic events in my state to have an AED present. So far, more than 80 lives have been saved as a result of this law. Imagine if this legislation was enacted nationwide -better yet- worldwide!
My commitment to promoting AED availability didn’t stop with my volunteer work. As part of my Eagle Scout project, I raised funds so my local lacrosse club could purchase AED supplies. The lacrosse club requires that each coach has an AED on the field at all times. The money I raised helped to ensure that the club’s AEDs would be “certified” and ready to go in the event of an emergency.
I hope that the AEDs are never put into action, but if they are, I would like to think that I played a minor role in maybe saving someone’s life. AEDs need to be accessible not only in schools and athletic fields, but also in workplaces around the country because Sudden Cardiac Arrest can happen to anyone, at any time, regardless of age, race, or gender.
When asked to tell us a little bit about himself, Michael shared he has a passion for music production, lacrosse, and scouting. In fact, he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in January of 2019 and continues to mentor young scouts. He has been a Patrol Leader and Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, which involved helping to organize troop events, preparing younger scouts, coordinating meeting activities, and managing difficult situations.
With an eye toward his future, he is a member of the Academy of Finance at his high school and interned at a multinational market research group last summer. He plans to major in Finance or International Business with a minor in music production, hoping to turn his passion for music into a business career.
Michael is certainly a well-rounded young man, and we look forward to seeing where the future takes him. Congratulations, again, Michael!
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