Pappageorge and Bledsoe resolutions to raise cardiac awareness
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
LANSING—Sen. John Pappageorge and Rep. Tim Bledsoe introduced resolutions Wednesday that will designate April 2011 as Michigan Student Athlete Cardiac Awareness Month.
“We can make a difference in the lives of young people and their families and help prevent some tragedies from occurring,” said Pappageorge, R-Troy. “Prescreening and appropriate medical intervention save lives. We need to educate people.”
Since December 1999, the state has lost at least 47 students to sudden cardiac arrest and related causes.
“The work of the Kimberly Anne Gillary Foundation makes saving lives possible by donating automated external defibrillators to schools that otherwise couldn’t afford them,” said Bledsoe, D-Grosse Pointe. “Training and education can help save lives in times of medical crisis.”
The issue of cardiac awareness has received increased attention in Michigan and elsewhere since Fennville High star basketball player Wes Leonard collapsed and died shortly after scoring his team’s winning basket on March 3.
In April 2000 another young Michigan resident, 15-year-old Kimberly Gillary, suffered a sudden cardiac arrest in a high school water polo game and died two days later after being taken off life support. The next day, Kimberly’s parents, Randy and Susan, started a foundation in their daughter’s memory.
“I cannot thank the Gillarys enough for what they have done for young people in Michigan,” Pappageorge said. “Through their tireless efforts lives have already been saved and more will be saved in the future.”
The foundation donates automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to Michigan high schools and advocates cardiac screening and testing of all Michigan high school student athletes. As of March 1, 2011, the foundation has raised more than $1.12 million and has donated more than 550 AEDs to Michigan high schools.
The resolutions note that AEDs donated by the Kimberly Anne Gillary Foundation have saved at least two lives: a 17-year-old Davison High School student and a 67-year-old spectator at a Hamilton High School baseball game.
“The Kimberly Anne Gillary Foundation and the Gillary family would like to express their deep thanks and appreciation to Sen. John Pappageorge and Rep. Tim Bledsoe for introducing the resolutions to designate April as Michigan Student Athlete Cardiac Awareness Month,” said Randy Gillary. “This is a major step in raising awareness of the dangers of hidden cardiac problems with our high school student athletes.”
Senate Resolution 37 and House Resolution 58 were adopted today.
Editor’s note: Sen. Pappageorge (center) stands in the Senate chamber with (from left) Randy and Sue Gillary and their daughters, Emily Kucinich and Jennifer Gregory. Click the image for a print-quality version. This and other photos are also available by visiting www.SenatorJohnPappageorge.com and clicking the Photowire link.
Print friendly version Email this page