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Panelist: Mike Papale
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Mike Papale

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survivor

Mike Papale is a sudden cardiac arrest survivor.  At the age of 17, while working a local basketball camp run by his father, Mike slumped over onto the ground and went into cardiac arrest.  There was no automated external defibrillator on site.  Fortunately a volunteer EMT, Bob Huebner, got the 9-1-1 calls on his pager and came over to the scene to find Mike taking his final breaths.  He immediately began doing CPR and directing the scene, saving Mike’s life. Eventually the rest of the EMT staff came in an ambulance, with an AED, and shocked Mike’s heart back to a normal rhythm. 

Mike was diagnosed with a condition called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and had a defibrillator implanted.  At the age of 25, Papale had to get his defibrillator battery replaced.  In the process he caught a bacterial infection that landed on the device.  In November 2014, he had to have the device completely removed.  During the surgery the scar tissue started bleeding and they had to perform emergency open-heart surgery.  Finally, in January 2015, he had a Subcutaneous ICD put in.  Mike is able to live a completely normal life with very few restrictions.

Mike is the president and founder of a non-profit foundation, In A Heartbeat  The mission of the foundation is to raise money to buy and donate AED’s and also to raise money for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy research projects. Ultimately the goal is to save lives. Mike launched the foundation in June 2015 along with his family and close friends.  Mike has also served as a volunteer and spokesperson for the American Heart Association and has spoken at various locations about the importance of CPR and AED’s.  

Mike is currently an assistant men’s basketball coach at Southern CT State University.  Prior to coaching at SCSU, Mike coached at University of Massachusetts Lowell and Quinnipiac University.

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