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Proposed law would require CPR training in NY high schools

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Proposed legislation in New York would require high school students to learn CPR before they graduate.

On March 25, 2000, Karen Acompora's 14-year-old son, Louis, was playing his first high school lacrosse game. While protecting the goal, Louis was hit in the chest with a ball and collapsed on the field. There was no defibrillator. By the time the ambulance got there, it was too late.

Louis was one of my closest friends growing up. I've been a part of his foundation which implemented Louis' Law, mandating all public schools in New York to have automatic external defibrillators, or AEDs, in the building and at every sporting event. Since then, more than 80 lives have been saved.

"It was probably the proudest moments of our lives and John, my husband, always says if it was one life then it's worth what we did," Acompora says. "80 lives that we know of it beyond what we can imagine."

For the past 8 years, Acompora has been pushing for the passage of the CPR in Schools bill. The legislation, introduced by Sen. Mark Grisanti, would require students to learn CPR before they graduate. In a 30 minute class, students can learn how to operate an AED. The Board of Regents would be responsible for implementing the training, and school districts would have to fund it.

"We need to have an army of bystanders to start CPR immediately because that will sustain someone and keep them alive," Acompora says.

She was in Albany last week pushing state legislators to vote on the bill before the session ends June 19. It passed the Senate but has to be voted on by the Assembly and approved by the governor before it can become law.

Acompora says this would not only save more people, but let Louis's legacy live on.

"We are fortunate that Louis gave us a mission and something positive shows us tangible results," she says. "Lives can be saved."

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