AED Saves Lives: a Local Family’s Initiative

AJ Bardi, Reporter

On March 25, 2000,14 years old Louis J. Acompora died from a condition known as commotio cordis, which resulted from a blow to his chest while playing his first high school lacrosse game. 


Since then, the Louis J. Acompora Memorial Foundation, created in honor of Louis by his mom, Karen, and dad, Louis Sr., has dedicated its mission to raising awareness about the importance of owning automated external defibrillators (AED), a simple device that would have saved Louis’ life. Since his passing, at least 110 lives have been saved.


Fast forward to 2022: Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered a terrifying injury after making a tackle on Tee Higgins (Bengals WR). Damar experienced the same exact injury that Louis did that day, commotio cordis. This is when a player is struck right over the heart at just the wrong time during their heartbeat. This can also happen when a player is struck in the chest by a hard object such as a baseball, hockey puck, or lacrosse ball.


Although they suffered the same injury, Damar Hamlin’s outcome was much different than Louis’. The Bills’ medical and athletic training staff administered CPR and chest compressions on Hamlin, who had no pulse on the field. He ultimately had to be revived through resuscitation and defibrillation before being transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. 


After being in the hospital for 9 days, Damar Hamlin is almost back to good health. He is even taking part in non-contact drills with his teammates. Damar is making amazing strides and should return to the NFL at some point.


Because of Louis Acompora, and his Family’s dedication to the foundation, Damar Hamlin’s  life was saved. He received the proper care that Louis wasn’t able to receive. Louis continues to save lives due to his story and foundation.