Testimonials

Joe Halowich

Parent Heart Watch shares our drive to promote health literacy among our students. They have been an excellent resource on sudden cardiac arrest prevention in youth, and have piloted a successful partnership to engage health and physical educators in championing cardiac emergency response plans in schools. We look forward to their continued collaboration to protect young hearts.

Joe Halowich
Senior Program Manager, SHAPE America

Stewart Krug

As a member of Parent Heart Watch since its founding in 2005, I have been provided with the opportunity to meet other families who have lost a child to sudden cardiac arrest, build a support network and become a prevention advocate. Parent Heart Watch provides members like me with ongoing training, education, tools and resources, including life-saving AEDs, that I could not afford to create or obtain for my foundation.

Stewart Krug
Matthew’s dad and founder of the Matthew Krug Foundation, Delaware

Karen Acompora

I remember the first year I was traveling to speak about sudden cardiac arrest prevention in youth and realized we needed a coalition to make a difference. Because of Parent Heart Watch, families are inspired and motivated to do something—that the loss of their son or daughter is not in vain. To have these kinds of champions around the country has truly made sudden cardiac arrest prevention in youth a national movement.

Karen Acompora
The Louis J. Acompora Memorial Foundation, New York

Rhina Paredes

It truly takes a miracle to rise above the loss of your child and protect other families from experiencing that unspeakable tragedy. When we lost Eric, we quickly realized we weren’t alone when we found Parent Heart Watch. As parents from around the country found the inspiration and vision to make a difference, so could we. As we share our stories, our obstacles and our triumphs, we find strength. Together, we continue to save lives through CPR training, AED placement, heart screenings, and awareness building. If not us, who will?

Rhina Paredes
Greeson, Eric Paredes Save A Life Foundation, California

Margie Blackmon

The Get Charged Up! Program has been a wonderful resource for our high school. Not only have we been provided a brand new AED for participating in the pilot program, we have been given so much pertinent training and educational materials on sudden cardiac arrest. We also received a helpful toolkit outlining how to set up a Cardiac Emergency Response Plan for our school and guidance in disseminating sudden cardiac awareness prevention information to our staff, school community and parent groups. Many thanks to Parent Heart Watch, Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, NASN, and so many others who developed this life saving system for schools!

Margie Blackmon
MSN, RN, Mount Si High School Nurse, Snoqualmie Valley School District, Washington

Steve Silva

For those interested in combating Sudden Cardiac Arrest through advocacy, Parent Heart Watch stands ready to provide families the resources to assist in developing a program that works for them. But far more importantly Parent Heart Watch offers a haven for families to grieve, process, and develop life-long friendships with other families who’ve experienced the unique trauma of losing a child.

Steve Silva
School principal and co-founder of Aidan’s Heart Foundation, Pennsylvania

Dr. Ronald Kanter

This is a marvelous organization because it operates on more of a grass roots level than any other I know. It’s at once the most effective in reaching out to families who have lost a child to sudden cardiac arrest, supporting them through a tragic situation, and working to prevent this happening to other families by addressing the issue in the social and political arenas.

Dr. Ronald Kanter
Director of Electrophysiology at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital

Scott Stephens

Preventable. A word that rolls around my mind daily since the loss of our son to sudden cardiac arrest. Parent Heart Watch has given Melody and me a national platform to voice our cries to prevent other parents from knowing our loss. They unite our voices, so together we will eliminate preventable deaths and disabilities from sudden cardiac arrest in youth by 2030. Let’s Go Big or Go Home.

Scott Stephens
Cody Stephens Go Big or Go Home Foundation, Texas

Heather MacLeod

It has been a privilege to work with Parent Heart Watch on educating families and health care providers about better investigation of young sudden deaths including saving appropriate samples for genetic testing and collecting family history information. Through these efforts local and national projects are more informed and will enable more detailed information to be compiled to help prevent future deaths within families affected by young sudden death, better understand the causes of young sudden deaths and reduce preventable deaths in all children.

Heather MacLeod
Cardiac Genetic Counselor, Sudden Death in the Young (SDY) Registry

Gail and Mark Holthaus

We lost our son to sudden cardiac arrest in 2013 and established the Greg Holthaus Memorial Fund but as grieving parents just didn’t have the energy to get involved. But after seeing Parent Heart Watch’s segment on the Today Show we decided to join and attend the annual conference, and —wow—it was a game changer! Besides meeting other parents who shared our story we walked away with a sense of direction and now we are on a mission to provide training, testing and equipment vital to preventing & treating SCA in youth.

Gail and Mark Holthaus
Greg Holthaus Memorial Fund, Illinois

Lori Peters, Senior Marketing Manager, Marketing Communications

As an industry leader, Cardiac Science understands the deadly toll sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) takes on our youth. We also know there is a way to stop this needless loss of life. Parent Heart Watch has taken a leadership role in advocating for critical primary and secondary prevention standards to protect young hearts. This is why Cardiac Science supports their vision to eliminate preventable death and disabilities from SCA in youth by 2030 and have proudly partnered with them for 12 years to make it a reality.

Lori Peters, Senior Marketing Manager, Marketing Communications
Cardiac Science Corporation

Norm Okerstrom

When our son, Teddy, survived Sudden Cardiac Arrest in 2009, it was emotionally tough for all of us. With no medical diagnosis and a lot of unanswered questions, it was Parent Heart Watch members who provided immediate support. At our first Heart to Heart in 2010, we met other parents who inspired us to share Ted’s story of survival as a means of educating others about how youth heart screenings and Cardiac Emergency Response Plans save lives. PHW provides resources that augment my CPR and AED training, and I am part of a national, unified voice that advocates for change.

Norm Okerstrom
Heart Safe Plymouth and Second Chance Life Savers, Minnesota

Beth Mattey, MSN, RN, NCSN, Past President

NASN is pleased to join forces with Parent Heart Watch with their launch of Get Charged Up. Often the first indication of an abnormal heart rhythm is a sudden cardiac arrest. The Cardiac Emergency Response Plan, which includes quick access to an automatic external defibrillator will save lives. PHW helps school nurses educate students and families and in the event of an emergency, more first responders will be prepared with rapid access to the AED.

Beth Mattey, MSN, RN, NCSN, Past President
National Association of School Nurses

Ralph Thibodeau

If it wasn’t for Parent Heart Watch, Deb and I would’ve foundered in our loss of Josh. They helped us set a direction, preserve his memory and create a legacy. The very first collaboration event was the genesis for our foundation – we got a baseline model for a heart screening program. They helped us build a mission, and we continue to improve and be informed by their communications.

Ralph Thibodeau
Josh Thibodeau Helping Hearts Foundation, Massachusetts

Stuart Berger, MD

Parent Heart Watch has been a driving force in our combined efforts to educate communities on the importance that early recognition of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and properly performed CPR has on our ability to save lives. The unique leadership role they have taken to protect youth from SCA has raised awareness of its true incidence among our children and has advanced the dialogue about the critical need to address secondary prevention strategies anywhere youth congregate.

Stuart Berger, MD
Chair, Task Force on SCA in Youth, Citizen CPR Foundation

Susan Canning

Parent Heart Watch was the reason I started KEVS Foundation. I could’ve grieved and hibernated for the rest of my life, or make sure I do everything possible in my child’s name so that it doesn’t happen to another family. Instead of recreating the wheel, I continue to build on their idea sharing and best practices. Parent Heart Watch provides the framework with great mentors—it’s a launching pad.

Susan Canning
KEVS Foundation, Massachusetts

Theresa Covington, Former Executive Director

Parent Heart watch has long advocated for a national registry that would count all Sudden Cardiac Deaths in youth, to provide evidence that these tragedies are not rare events. The tenacious efforts of members to educate and advocate for a registry influenced heightened federal interest, which led to the 2012 establishment of the Sudden Death in Young Case Registry—a partnership between NIH, CDC and the National Center for Child Death Review, with PHW on the Registry Advisory Committee.

Theresa Covington, Former Executive Director
Nat’l Center for the Review and Prevention of Child Deaths

Pamela Foster

Parent Heart Watch sets the bar for SCA prevention in youth. We get the support we need to make change. Together we go to great lengths to protect our children. We yell from the mountain tops that our children need to be safe, screened and have easy access to AEDs. Parent Heart Watch is the leader, and we all follow the leader.

Pamela Foster
Hawaii Heart Foundation

Salim Idriss, MD, PhD

The CSRC launched an initiative two years ago to establish a sustainable national resource related to prevention of SCA/SCDY. Parent Heart Watch has been a key collaborative partner from the inception of this initiative, given their national presence and knowledge and commitment to SCA/SCDY prevention. PHW continues to take a leadership role in our efforts to create a national screening standard. They are instrumental in leveraging input from community screening foundations, especially as we embark on a landmark pilot study to unify screening data collection practices and establish what is normal in ECG interpretation in youth.

Salim Idriss, MD, PhD
Cardiac Safety Research Consortium & Duke Pediatric & Congenital Heart Center