August 28, 2001 – A Northport family has made tremendous strides in trying to protect Long Island’s young athletes from losing their lives on the field.
In 2000, John and Karen Acompora lost their 14-year-old son, Louis, when a lacrosse ball hit him in the chest. Louis died soon after the incident.
His parents have insisted that if there had been a defibrillator nearby, their son would be alive today.
For the past year, the Acomporas and Suffolk County Legislator Andrew Crecca have been working to get defibrillators installed countywide. By October, the Acomporas may see their wish become a reality.
Karen Acompora fought back tears as she and her husband proudly unveiled a new program in the Town of Huntington that calls for six new defibrillatros to be placed in certain town owned buildings. The program is in honor of their son Louis.
The Acomporas lost their 14-year-old son Louis last March during a lacrosse game. Louis was struck in the chest by the lacrosse ball and immediately went into cardiac arrest. His father John is convinced that had a defibrillator been close by his son would have lived.
“His heart was quivering,” he explained. “The only way to reverse that is with a defibrillator, it would have shocked the heart, put it at rest and the natural heart cycle would have taken over.”
Town Supervisor Frank Petrone says this is just the first phase of this program, which they plan to expand. “The Crab Meadow Golf Course will have a unit,” he explained. “The Dix Hills ice rink and the senior citizens center. We are also going to place one on our Harbor Master’s vessel.”
And the Town of Huntington program will likely be expanded to a county wide level. The Acompora’s are also working with County Legislator Andrew Crecca who has drafted seven pieces of legislation calling for defibrillators to be placed in county buildings and county parks.
The defibrillators are easy to use, you stick the paddles to a victim’s chest and simply press a button. A simple procedure that could save hundreds of lives.
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