Students Save a Life During High School Concert


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Longwood High School 11th and 12th Grade Music and Art Festival became secondary to a real-life drama when John Ronan, a local grandparent who was watching his grandson, went into Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) and collapsed. The quick-thinking actions by high school senior Kayla Parmely and nearby bystanders who used an automated external defibrillator (AED) helped save his life.

Longwood-High-School-Cardiac-Science-Award(left to right): Kevin Stinton, Kayla Parmely, John Ronan, Marie O’Brien, Karen Acompora and John Acompora.

After witnessing John collapse, both Kevin Stinton and Marie O’Brien quickly pulled him out of the row of seats and began to perform CPR. “I heard someone yell to grab the AED, but no one seemed to know how to use it,” said Kayla. “I told [the other first responders] I was trained on the AED and just took over,” she said. It was the fast-acting actions of everyone that saved John’s life.

AEDs are required in schools throughout the State of New York. The enactment of AED legislation was part of a crusade led byThe 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, Karen and John Acompora, began a campaign to raise awareness among schools and other public institutions about the importance of having AEDs in public places.

“We are very proud of the fast actions demonstrated by bystanders Kevin, Marie, and of course by Kayla. The availability of AEDs at schools, and John’s life saved, is proof that having these devices readily available can make a difference in the lives of students, staff and attendees of school-related events. Louis’s legacy will live on in the many lives that have and will be saved in New York State as a result of AEDs in schools,” said Karen Acompora, Founder of The Louis J. Acompora Memorial Foundation.

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