Soccer Coach Honored for Saving Student’s Life

Soccer coach, Isha Hamilton, and Teacher, Greg McCoy, were commemorated for saving the life of Kiavelyn Altagracia, a 7th grade student who had suffered sudden cardiac arrest at school. John and Karen Acompora, founders of The Louis J. Acompora Memorial Foundation, presented the awards for their heroism on saving Kiavelyn’s life. The ceremony took place on Wednesday, October 9, at Edmund W. Miles Middle School in Amityville, New York.

Kiavelyn Altagracia (middle) with Karen and John Acompora, founders of The Louis J. Acompora Memorial FoundationKiavelyn Altagracia (middle) with Karen and John Acompora, founders of The Louis J. Acompora Memorial Foundation.

In September, Kiavelyn was playing on the school’s soccer field when she suddenly collapsed and went into full sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). McCoy rushed to grab the automated external defibrillator (AED) while Hamilton performed CPR. Hamilton operated the AED and it successfully shocked Kiaveyln’s heart back into rhythm and she began to breath on her own.

“It is absolute honor to welcome another sudden cardiac arrest survivor to the long standing family of survivors that Cardiac Science AEDs have saved. Having both Karen and John Acompora there to present the awards made the event absolutely perfect,” said Mark Peters, Certified AED Specialist from Cardiac Science.

Kiavelyn’s benefited from a law requiring AEDs in schools across the State of New York. The enactment of AED legislation was part of a crusade led by the Louis J. Acompora Memorial Foundation. The foundation was formed in the memory of Louis J. Acompora who died suddenly as a result of SCA during a high school lacrosse game in 2000. Following his tragic loss, his parents began a campaign to raise awareness among schools and other public institutions about the importance of having AEDs in public places.

“My husband John and I were honored to present the Cardiac Science Life Saver Awards to Hamilton and McCoy. These NYS school saves are a testament to Louis’ Legacy. Even though we count Kiavelyn as save #75 she is more than a number; she is a young life that could have ended too soon had it not been for her heroes at Edmond W. Miles Middle School and the readily available AED,” said Karen Acompora.