HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Peyton Walker Foundation today celebrates the Pennsylvania State Senate’s unanimous passage of Senate Bill 836, known as “Peyton’s Law,” and lauds Sen. Mike Regan (R-District 31) for his sponsorship, leadership and staunch advocacy for the measure. The bill now heads to the State House of Representatives. Peyton Walker, a 19-year-old Mechanicsburg, Pa. native, was a sophomore at Kings College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., studying to be a physician assistant, when she suffered a fatal Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) on November 2, 2013. After Peyton’s death, her family researched SCA and found that kids are dying every day from heart issues that are NOT diagnosed. They established the Foundation in her honor to advocate for greater awareness, resources and training to boost survival rates for Sudden Cardiac Arrest.
SB 836 would enhance the existing PIAA Sports Physical form to include information about requesting an electrocardiogram (EKG) as part of sports physicals. Peyton’s Law aims to protect students and provide them and their families with resources to make informed health decisions. Additionally, the law would require that the Pa. Department of Education post information on their website about Sudden Cardiac Arrest, the importance of EKGs, and the signs and symptoms of heart disease that can lead to cardiac arrest.
Julie Walker, Peyton’s mother and executive director of The Peyton Walker Foundation, released the following statement after the State Senate vote:
“Today, Norm and I along with our family, The Peyton Walker Foundation and all parents across the commonwealth thank Sen. Mike Regan and our Pa. senators for their leadership in moving us one step closer to helping to make sure our students are protected.
“We know Sudden Cardiac Arrest takes the lives of our students every hour of every day. It is the #1 killer of our student-athletes. Today, we advance vital, life-saving information and education to detect more heart conditions that often lead to SCA. We applaud our state senators for passing SB 836, Peyton’s Law, to help us check hearts so that the beat goes on for all of us!
“In truth, though, it is a bittersweet moment as this coming Saturday marks the sixth anniversary of when SCA took the life of our beautiful, vibrant daughter Peyton. We are moved deeply by the stories of heartache and the outpouring of support shared by so many families who have similarly lost their precious children to Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Some of those families joined us, from as far away as Texas, to lobby for SB 836. We gain comfort, inspiration and strength from their collective action. Together, we can help spare other families the profound loss and trauma we have experienced.
“And so, we respectfully ask all Pennsylvanians to join us. Please, contact your State House member and urge a YES vote on SB 836 so we can get it to Governor Tom Wolf’s desk for signature. “Peyton’s Law” will save lives. Help us make it a reality. Thank you.”
Supporters can find their State House members here: https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/member_information/mbrList.cfm?body=H
Checking Hearts. Protecting Hearts. Saving Lives from Sudden Cardiac Arrest.
The Peyton Walker Foundation strives to boost survival rates for Sudden Cardiac Arrest by donating Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to youth sports and non-profit organizations, screening students, and training community members in life-saving interventions like Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). According to the American Red Cross, AEDs can analyze the heart’s rhythm and, if necessary, deliver an electrical shock, or defibrillation, to help the heart re-establish an effective rhythm. Because they are portable, AEDs can be used by anyone to potentially save a life. When someone is in cardiac arrest, it is imperative to follow three critical steps:
- CALL 911
- PUSH hard and fast on the chest (CPR)
- SHOCK with an AED
Facts about Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA):
- SCA is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. (over 600,000 annually).
- SCA is the #1 killer of student-athletes in the U.S.
- Every hour, every day, a student dies from SCA.
- SCA is the leading cause of death on school campuses.
- Most heart conditions that lead to SCA are detectable and treatable.
About Peyton Walker Foundation: The Foundation holds FREE HEART SCREENING CLINICS for students ages 12-19 in the Central Pa. area. To date, they are proud to have screened approximately 2,500 students leading to potential life-saving medical attention in several cases. The Foundation also provides AED and CPR training to every STUDENT who attends their heart screenings allowing students and their families a chance to perform hands-on CPR and gain a better understanding of what an AED is and how to use it. The Foundation provides educational scholarships and other FREE community CPR and AED Trainings. Recently, the Foundation attended the PIAA District 3 Wrestling and Basketball Championships. Peyton Walker was a 19-year-old Mechanicsburg native, 2012 Trinity High School graduate, and a sophomore in college who was pursuing a career as a Physician Assistant at Kings College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. when she suffered a Sudden Cardiac Arrest that took her young and vibrant life on November 2, 2013. Afterwards, her family started researching SCA, and found that kids are dying every day from heart issues that are NOT diagnosed. The PEYTON WALKER FOUNDATION was established in honor of Peyton’s memory and her dreams of a medical profession to help and care for others. Their mission is to increase awareness and survival rates of Sudden Cardiac Arrest through education, screening and training. Events, screenings and important updates can be found at PeytonWalker.org.
Source: Peyton Walker foundation press release