On July 19, 2012, my nephew, Burke Cobb, died on the floor of his high school gym at the age of 14. His death was caused by sudden cardiac arrest due to an unknown heart condition called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy or HCM. Burke was playing a pick-up game of basketball and there were approximately 25 students in the gym with him that day, ranging from grades 9-12. He was running down the court, felt dizzy, collapsed and was immediately unresponsive. Several students ran to his aid, but were unsure what to do for him.
There were 25 potential lifesavers surrounding Burke when he died. They could have made the difference that day if only they had been taught how to do so. This is exactly why my family and I joined the American Heart Association to advocate for CPR as a high school graduation requirement. Thankfully in June 2014, Louisiana became one of the thirty-seven states in our country that have passed this life-saving legislation to date, and in Louisiana it’s honorably called the Burke Cobb Act.
More articles from heart.org about the Burke Cobb Act: