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Support the Louis T. Savino III Foundation Donate Learn About SCD brochure

About the Foundation

Board PhotoSavino Foundation Board of Directors

Established in December, 2000 by Louis' Mother and Aunt, the Louis Savino, III Foundation raises funds for lifesaving devices known as Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs). In keeping with their fund-raising mission, the foundation's focus is on yet another type of AED…Awareness, Education & Detection.

» Awareness: providing information about the warning signs of SCD and providing equipment and funding the purchase of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), for schools, gymnasiums and athletic fields.

» Education: sponsoring CPR and AED training programs for teachers, coaches and students to provide essential lifesaving training.

» Detection: crusading for comprehensive school physical examinations at a time in life when it becomes possible to detect previously unknown symptoms in order to prevent potential SCDs - potential early deaths from heart failure.

To-date, the Savino Foundation has funded more than $40,000 to schools, camps and athletic organizations for AED’s, lifesaving training and heart screening programs.

Community Outreach

CPR/AED Programs

Savino Foundation on the Air

Savino Fondation with WWDBSavino Foundation featured on WWDB-AM Radio Program – ""The Medical View"

Community Service Activity

Savino Fondation Nursing Seminar Bucks County Community College Nursing Seminar: "Gone in a Heartbeat" -- Sudden Cardiac Death in Youth and Ways to Prevent Future Tragedies

Gone in a Heartbeat Video

AEDs should be in every school to protect every child.
T. Pellegrini & L. Sikora are featured in a video, Gone in a Heartbeat produced by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Youth Heart Watch group under the direction of Dr. Victoria Vetter, Chief of Cardiology.

Watch the Video

A Mother's Message

Toni & LouisNothing could have ever prepared me for the horrible event that I witnessed on October 12, 2000. My hope is to spare parents from experiencing, as I did, the sudden unexpected and ultimate tragedy of losing one's child.

As parents we are responsible for our children and we must take steps to act on their behalf. Be certain that your child's school and playing fields are equipped with AED’s and that an Emergency Response Plan is in effect should a child be stricken, as my child was. It is crucial that your child's physician be aware of any family history of heart disease, SCD in a relative who died before the age of 50, or Marfan's Syndrome.

Of vital importance are any new or unusual symptoms experienced by your child. They should be thoroughly investigated by his/her physician. Symptoms such as palpitations, chest pain and blackouts during exercise should not be ignored. If need be, insist on tests such as EKG, stress EKG and echocardiogram to determine if a heart problem exists.

Life everyday is quite different for me now and I know it will never be the same as the days I shared with my son, Louis. Now I look to my dreams to share time with him.

My time is now spent on a crusade to spread awareness and to strive for the prevention of sudden cardiac death in our youth. I do this in memory of Louis and the hundreds of other young people whose lives have been cut short in the same way.

Toni Pellegrini

In Search of AEDs

AED Donations from The Savino Foundation

"He looked like the picture of health"..."she was energetic and so physically fit"..."how can this happen to a child?"

These words frequently accompany the stories in newspapers all across the country. Ever since the passing of young Louis Savino, Foundation members research cases of sudden cardiac death (SCD) in youth from reputable news sources. Each year, thousands of children, teens and young adults suffer sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) Often, the outcome is sudden death.

In Search of AEDs

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are amazing, intuitive units. They are the main link in the chain of survival. Having the unit readily available and knowing how to use it enables otherwise helpless individuals to do all they can to save a life. AEDs DO make the difference between life and death. Sudden cardiac death (SCD) typically occurs as a result of a structural problem with the heart or as a result of a hereditary heart disorder. It can also occur as a result of heat exhaustion or a concussion to the heart known as commotio cordis. The aftermath of these events can affect children and adults in a profound way and leave them with an indelible memory.

Please join us in our crusade “In Search of AEDs”. Whether you are a parent, grandparent or if you have friends or family with children, ask if they have these units available in their schools, in their gyms and on their fields. If you know of a school, youth organization, camp or student athletic program that is in need of a grant for an Automated External Defibrillator and lifesaving training, please have their representative contact the Savino Foundation at (215) 369-9696.

What is an AED?

AEDAn AED is a device about the size of a laptop computer that analyzes the heart's rhythm for any abnormalities and, if necessary, directs the rescuer to deliver an electrical shock to the victim. This shock, called defibrillation, may help the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm of its own. For each minute defibrillation is delayed, the chance of survival is reduced by 10 percent.

Early defibrillation is the link in the Chain of Survival! Learn CPR and how to use an AED today.

AED Basics to Save a Life

  1. Educate first responders as to the protocol for responding to a cardiac emergency.
  2. Be sure the AED is visible, properly marked and accessible at all times. An AED hidden behind a locked door will never save a life!
  3. Check the batteries and pads once a month and immediately notify authorities if units are not functioning.
  4. Using an AED within 4 to 6 minutes increases the survival rate to 60%. Without an AED the survival rate decreases 10% for every passing minute.
  5. In case of a cardiac emergency, call 911 immediately, then begin CPR/AED usage.

Cardiac Screening Programs

Cardiac ScreeningLouis Savino died of a congenital heart condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). HCM consists of a thickening of the heart muscle, which disrupts the main pumping chamber of the heart.

Congenital heart disease is the leading cause of non-traumatic sudden athletic death, with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

The Savino foundation is committed to doing everything possible to prevent the tragedy of sudden death in student athletes. We recognize the importance of identifying young men and women who may be at risk for sudden cardiac death.

Cardiac ScreeningThe standard pre-sports participation physical exam may not go far enough to identify the cardiovascular abnormalities and undetected heart conditions. An echocardiogram test can determine whether the student-athlete is at risk for a sudden cardiac event due to abnormalities or defects of the heart.

Cardiac screening programs are slowly making their way through schools and athletic organizations in the United States. This preventive testing is mandated in several other countries such as Italy and Japan resulting in a reduction of sudden death incidents.

Pennsbury High School Soccer Team Cardiac Screening - October, 2006

Savino Foundation Heart Screening News Video

Disturbing Facts

U.S. falls behind with preventive care of student athletes.

soccer players Since 1982, Italian law has required every athlete participating in competitive sports to undergo a checkup that includes a health history, physical exam and echocardiogram to detect potentially deadly heart abnormalities. The number of sudden heart-related deaths in young athletes dropped by 89% from 1979—2004.

Read the full article



Louis's Story

Loius Savino IIILouis T. Savino, III died at the age of 15 on October 12, 2000 at Macclesfield in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, during a soccer practice session.

With his mother looking on, his coach and two others began performing CPR. Unfortunately, the lack of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on the field prevented any attempts to save Louis' young life.

Louis died of an undetected congenital heart disorder known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Congenital heart disease is the leading cause of non-traumatic sudden death in student athletes with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy being the most common cause.He died of an unsuspected and unexpected cardiac arrest.

Louis attended the William Penn Charter School and was in the beginning of his Sophomore year at the time of his death. An “A” student, community service volunteer and sports enthusiast, Louis dreamed of pursuing a career as a sportscaster.

Read More About Louis

Savino Foundation Newsletter

Download the latest Savino Foundation newsletter.

Public Service Announcement

This 30-second piece was created by Parent Heart Watch to raise awareness about undetected heart conditions.



The Louis Savino Foundation is an affiliate of Parent Heart Watch -- a national network of families who have lost children to sudden cardiac arrest.

Latest News

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Latest U.S. Sudden Cardiac Death Cases in Youth (Scroll Down for AED "Saves")

Age 17-Michigan-High School Student Reportedly Dies after Collapsing - 9/10/14

Age 16-New York-Curtis High School Football Player Dies after Collapsing at Practice - 9/01/14

Age 16-California-Calexico Student Dies at School of Apparent Cardiac Arrest - 8/29/14

Age 13-Alabama-Pell City Eight Grader Collapses in Class; Died of Heart Problem - 8/28/14

Age 18-Maryland-Morgan State University Athlete Dies after Collapsing - 8/24/14

Age 18-North Carolina-Belmont Abbey Soccer Player Dies After Collapse - 8/22/14

Age 14-South Carolina-High School Student Collapses on Track, Dies - 8/20/14

Age 13-Boy Collapses, Dies at Basketball Practice - 8/20/14

Age 14-Florida_Boy Dies at High School Football Camp - 8/13/14

Age 16-Pennsylvania-Burrell High Football Player Collapses, Dies at First Practice - 8/06/14

Age 20-Colorado-Woman Collapses During Half-Marathon, Then Dies - 7/23/14

Age 22-Minnesota-WSU Football Player Dies During Workout - 7/21/14

Age 17-California-High School Tennis Player Dies 8 Days after Collapse on Run - 7/16/14

Age 15-West Virginia-Healthy Teen Athlete Dies Suddenly - 5/24/14

Age 7 - Heart Defect Cited in Philly School Boy's Death - 5/21/14

Age 14 - Mount Laurel, NJ student collapses, dies during physical education class - 5/21/14

Age 13 - Student Collapses, Dies after Physical Education Class - 5/14/14

Age 16-Teen Collapsed during Basketball Game, Died 3 Days Later - 5/09/14

Age 13 - Student Collapsed during PE Class - 5/09/14

Age 16-Teen Basketball Player Collapsed, Died During Tournament - 5/03/14

Age 10-South Carolina-Boy Died at Baseball Practice had Enlarged Heart - 5/01/14

Age 17 - Illinois - Marist High School Student Dies after Collapsing at Senior Overnight Event - 4/25/14

Age 14 - Connecticut - Teen Collapses, Dies at YWCA - 3/24/14

Age 16 - Virginia - Student Collapses During Half-Marathon - 3/18/14

Age 16- Virginia-Teen Dies after Shamrock Half-Marathon - 3/17/14

Age 16-Teen Collapsed and Died During School Field Trip - 2/28/14

Age 14 - Middle School Student Collapses, Dies Following Basketball Game - 2/18/14

Age 14 - Student Collapses During Track Tryouts, Later Dies - 2/17/14

Age 14 - Student Collapses on Campus, Dies After Running Laps - 2/17/14

Age 12 - Tennessee - Myrtle Student Dies From Cardiac Arrest - 2/07/14

Age 21-California-Defensive End Dies After Collapsing During Workout - 2/07/14

Age 16-Teen Athlete Dies During Track/Field Practice - 2/04/14

Age 15 - Student Collapses, Dies During Basketball Game - 1/30/14

Age 12 - Texas - Student Dies After Collapse at Middle School - 1/29/14

Age 15 - Student Collapses, Dies During Cheerleading Practice - 1/23/14

Age 17 - Student Collapses, Dies Following Basketball Game at School - 1/22/14

Age 12 - California - Seemingly Healthy Athlete Dies Playing Soccer - 1/20/14

Age 15 - Godby Student Collapses, Dies During Track Practice - 1/14/14

More stories prior to December, 2013

Latest U.S. Lives Saved with an Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

Age 16 - Louisiana-Neville Football Player Collapses and is Saved by an AED - 9/10/14

Age 14-Arkansas-Nurses Resuscitate Collapsed Player at Watson Chapel - 8/29/14

Age 27-Pennsylvania-Good Samaritans Save Runner In Cardiac Arrest Along Schuykill River - 8/24/14

Age 15-Alabama-Spanish Fort Sophomore Football Player Saved on Football Field - 8/06/14

Age 16-Michigan-First Responders Save Teen in Cardiac Arrest - 7/03/14

New Jersey-Middle School Student Saved by AED-Teachers Called Heroes - 6/11/14

Age 6-South Carolina-Taylor Girl Survives Heart Attack; Thanks Responders - 5/28/14

Age 16-California-High School Student Faced Near Death Experience - 5/24/14

Age 15-New Jersey-School's Athletic Director Revives Track Athlete - 3/19/14

Age 17-New Jersey-Police Save Life of Fallen Runner - 3/17/14

Age 15 - Student Saved by AED - 1/28/14
< Tennessee-Joint Effort Saves Student's Life - 1/20/14

Age 3 - Team Effort Saves Little Boy's Life -11/01/13

Age 17-Ohio-Student Survives Sudden Death Arrest - 10/21/13

Age 22 - Bakersfield woman honors Fresno cops who saved her life 11 months ago - 9/17/13

Age 11 - CPR and AED 'chain of survival' saves Folsom boy - 7/26/13

Age 18 - Athletic trainer's quick response helps save player who collapsed at AAU tournament -7/17/13

Age 17 - AED saves life of teen who collapses during basketball tournament - 7/17/13

Age 21 - Lifeguard Saved by Fellow Lifeguard - 7/09/13

Age 52 - Friends Save Man in Gym with an AED - 6/18/13

Age 13 - Maplewood Student's Life Saved by Athletic Trainer - 6/03/13

Age 16 - High school student collapses in school hallway, saved by AED - 5/22/13

Age 13 - Athletic trainer revives young runner at race finish - 5/20/13

Age 16 - Coach hailed for saving High School football player who collapses during practice - 5/16/13

Age 15 - Teen's life is Saved by 3 Heroes and an AED - 5/09/13

Age 67 - AED accessibility saves man's life - 5/3/13

Age Adult - High School Coach and Trainer save father's life - 5/1/13

Age 13 - Girl saves teammate's life with CPR learned the day before - 4/19/13

Age 7th grader - Teacher saves student with CPR - 4/9/13

Age 62 - School nurse saves janitor's life - 4/1/13

Age 21 - Paramedic units save 21 year old who collapsed playing basketball with his father - 3/31/13

3rd grader - Teacher and nurse save boy who collapsed during gym with AED, CPR - 2/25/13

Age 18 - School staff revive student who collapsed at school - 2/12/13

Age 15 - High school girl in coma after collapsing before basketball game - 1/31/13

College student revived after collapsing on treadmill - 1/26/13

More stories prior to December, 2012

Latest Sudden Cardiac Death Research and Related Articles

AED's in schools Priceless? - 5/15/12

Should Young Athletes Be Screened for Heart Risk? - 4/30/12

Syncope/ seizure may precede cardiac arrest in young children - 12/28/10

Be Heart-Smart with your Young Athlete - 12/29/10

Study: Uninterrupted Chest Compressions Key To CPR - 6/08/10

Heart Ailments Aren't Always for the Elderly - 6./11/10

Exercise Induced Asthma or Cardiac Disease-The Need for AEDs - 9/07/10

Routine EKG Testing Could Save Young Lives, Standford Study Says - 3/01/10

Adams' Passing Could Result in Testing Changes - 1/24/10

Lewis and Adams: Latest Deaths In Athletes Show Need for Safer Health Measures - 1/17/10

Sixth Graders Heart Screenings Shock Researchers - 12/02/09

Teen Athletes Need Heart Screenings, Study Suggests - 11/30/09

Knowing Family Health May Prevent Athlete Deaths -11/27/09

Young Athletes Need Dual Screening Tests for Heart Defects - 11/15/09

Determining the Best Way to Prevent Sudden Death in Athletes - 11/06/09

Caution in the heat--Ease student athletes into summer sports practices - 8/1/09

Even 9-Year Olds can learn CPR - 7/31/09

Can't take the heat? Get off the field - 7/10/09

Coaches take steps to protect athletes during high heat - 7/15/09

Sports teams begin season with new rules about training in hot weather - 7/15/09

Texas schools screen for heart problems, with shocking results - 6/05/09

How can sudden cardiac death be prevented in young adults? - 6/01/09

Debate over heart screenings refuses to go away - 5/29/09

Families Of Sudden Unexplained Death Victims Should Receive Comprehensive Cardiogenetic Testing - 5/26/09

Heart to heart: Sudden cardiac death in athletes - 5/19/09

Brothers Owe Their Lives to a Routine Physical - 2/6/09

Surprise drills at school keep kids at the ready for cardiac cases - 2/5/09

Increasing the Chances of Surviving Sudden Cardiac Arrest - 2/4/09

Dying to Play--Why don't we prevent more sudden deaths in athletes? - 2/3/09

VIDEO-Gone in a Heartbeat-Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

VIDEO-How to Use an AED

Disney To Install Defibrillators at Some of Resort's Thrill Rides - 1/10/09

Designed to deliver life-saving jolts, devices are too often hidden

Fallen PRP player's mother still wonders 'why?'

Russian's death sends chill through hockey world

FIFA extends compulsory heart testing program

Let’s Improve Medical Screening

CPR Can Save a Life

Young Athletes Who were Suddenly Stricken

Do More to Protect Our Children

Preventing sports tragedies

Developing Successful Public Access Defibrillator Programs

The New Face of CPR

How Workplace Safety Training Programs and Corporate AED Programs Can Save Lives and Liability Claim

DEFIBRILLATORS - More life-savers around, but some afraid to use them

More articles

Contact Us

Contact UsLouis T. Savino, III Foundation
215 W. Hanover Street
Newtown, PA 18940

Telephone: (215) 369-9696
E-Mail: savinofoundation@aol.com