A young man lost too soon inspires Louis’ Law

It’s Week Two of the American Heart Association’s ‘So Many Reasons’ Campaign

Reason No. 4: A young man lost too soon inspires Louis’ Law

About 424,000 people suffer sudden cardiac arrest each year, and only about 10 percent survive. The American Heart Association and its volunteers are working to change that statistic by passing a law requiring that all New York high school students learn CPR before graduating. 

To convince lawmakers to pass the CPR in Schools bill (A9298/S7096), the American Heart Association is sending a “reason” every day between now and the end of session to lawmakers. The reasons show people whose lives were saved with CPR and/or an AED, or people whose lives were lost because CPR and/or an AED weren’t used, or weren’t used correctly. The same reason is going to the media, and being posted on the American Heart Association’s facebook (American Heart Association – New York State) and Twitter feeds, with the hashtag CPRInSchools.

Today’s reason, Reason No. 4, is Louis Acompora, who died when he was 14.

“My son Louis was 14 and playing his first lacrosse game when he blocked a shot with his chest,” said Karen Acompora of Northport, NY. “He scooped up the ball, took a few steps, and collapsed. CPR and AED use happened too late to save him. Twelve years ago, Louis’ Law passed, which makes sure that AEDS are placed in schools. Since then, 80 lives have been saved. I think of Louis every time I hear about one of those lives.  Having more people know CPR and having AEDs available will prevent more of the heartbreak we have suffered.  So many other states have passed CPR in Schools laws, it’s time for New York to do the same.”

A rally is planned for June 3 with the unveiling of a survivors gallery and a mass CPR demonstration at the Legislative Office building. 

An updated version of the CPR in Schools legislation (A9298/S7096) has recently been introduced by Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, D-Long Beach, and Senator Mark Grisanti, R-Buffalo. The bill is currently in the Education Committees in both houses.

“CPR is a lifesaving solution,” said Weisenberg. “As a former police officer, school administrator and lifeguard, I know firsthand that we need bystander CPR to save lives. Many people are alive today because individuals trained in CPR — including youth and adults who received that training in school — gave someone CPR until EMTs arrived. I’m committed to passing the CPR in Schools bill so that we can create a generation in which New Yorkers are prepared to save lives.”

“Schools prepare students with essential life skills, and CPR skills are among the most critical lifesaving skills that make our communities safer, year after year, said Grisanti. “It’s time to add New York to the growing list of states that have passed this legislation. I’m honored to sponsor the CPR schools legislation in the New York State Senate and I am proud to work in partnership with the American Heart Association and families in western New York to help make this bill become a law.”

“Every year, 424,000 people suffer sudden cardiac arrest outside the hospital,” said Dan Moran, chair of the American Heart Association’s New York State Advocacy Committee. “Would you know what to do if someone collapsed in front of you? Teaching CPR in schools will save lives. When I meet people who were dead, really, with sudden cardiac arrest, and I hear everything they’ve done since being saved, you see that the CPR in Schools bill isn’t just a bill – it’s life.”Image 

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