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Panelist: Joan Papale
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Joan Papale

Episodes in which Joan Papale appears

Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Youth Atheletes panalist

Joan Papale has been very involved in researching and advocating for the awareness of Sudden Cardiac Arrest in youth and athletes since her son Mike’s SCA on August 24, 2006 at 17 years old.  Her first quest was to join the American Heart Association as a volunteer with her son Mike in Wallingford, CT.  Joan immersed herself in studying Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, the genetic condition Mike was diagnosed with.  On January 22, 2007, Joan spoke to the Wallingford Board of Education with a heartfelt request:  AED’s in all 12 schools. The board agreed to put one AED in each of the eight elementary schools, two middle schools, and add more to the high schools.  There would be training for staff and an emergency teams developed in each school.  

Joan and Mike began speaking all over about the importance of CPR and AED training.  

Joan and her family participated in their first Heart walk at Lighthouse Point in New Haven on May 20, 2007 where their team raised over $8,000. Soon participating in Heart walks became a passion for Joan and her family and a way to raise money and awareness for SCA. The dedication and odyssey continued for Joan.  She spear-headed Wallingford becoming a HEARTSafe community with the support of   The Mayor, the Health department, the AHA, Bob Huebner and members of the community. Wallingford became a HEARTSafe Community in February 2008.

Joan and her family attended the American Heart Association’s Congressional Heart and Stroke Lobby Day in Washington DC the first time was in April of 2007 and the second time in April 2008.  Joan and Mike met with then representatives Dodd and Lieberman and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro on Capitol Hill.

Joan and Mike joined the AHA and CATA (Connecticut Athletic Trainer’s Association) and spoke at the Capital in Hartford on February 28, 2007; March 5, 2007, and February 27, 2009.  They were lobbying for legislation that would mandate having defibrillators in all Connecticut public schools and other public places, as well as, the Good Samaritan Act to protect those who use an AED to help a victim. This stopped the fear of liability.  This legislation became effective October 1, 2009.   Governor Rell signed the AED bill on June 18, 2009 at the Norwich Free Academy.  This legislation became effective July 1, 2009.  This was a day of celebration for Joan, Mike, Bob, Representative Mary Fritz, Larry and Evelyn Pontbriant along with so many other people that worked hard to get these bills passed.  

Joan’s quest to spread awareness of this insidious silent killer will be life-long.

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