On March 25, 2000, while playing in his first game on the freshman team at Northport (N.Y.) High School, goalie Louis Acompora made a save with his chest. He collapsed and died. He was 14-years-old.

The cause of death, as his parents and the lacrosse community learned, was from the rare phenomenon of commotio cordis, which is a disruption of the heart’s normal rhythm due to a blow to the chest at a precise moment in the heart’s cycle. The condition leads to sudden cardiac arrest.

The only effective response to commotio cordis is the timely delivery of a life-saving shock or defibrillation. Had there been an AED (automated external defibrillator) on the field at Northport, Louis’ life may have been saved.

Sparked by that tragedy, Louis’ parents, John and Karen Acompora, founded the Louis J. Acompora Memorial Foundation, providing greater AED education and advocacy to help other athletes and families avoid a similar experience. The mission is to help schools and other public institutions understand the importance of having AEDs available.

As the 20-year anniversary of Louis’ death approaches, The Washington Post shared a story about the ongoing work of the Acompora Foundation, and how new rules regarding chest protection will help make lacrosse a safer sport for future generations.

Read the full article

Much progress has been made over the past 20 years, but the Acomporas note that there’s still plenty of work still ahead.

“I thought we would be done 10 years ago,” John Acompora told the Post. “When Louis passed away and I found out what an AED did and how easy CPR is to learn, I thought this was a no-brainer. This is common sense. Here we are 19 years later, still trying to teach common sense.”  

An AED on Every Field

Discounted AED devices are available to all members of the lacrosse community.

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