Leigh Pechillo brings an extraordinary level of commitment and passion to her work as a volunteer for the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Leigh suffered a massive heart attack on Mother’s Day in 2014 and was saved by her husband, Tom, who performed necessary lifesaving CPR on her until emergency services were able to take over. But her experience is not the only way heart disease struck Leigh’s family…her father passed away from congestive heart failure after years of heart related issues, her son Robby was born with two congenital heart defects, and Tom is also a heart defect survivor.
Leigh now spends much of her time raising money and awareness for congenital heart defects and heart disease. She is a frequent blogger for the Huffington Post, often speaking not only about her own experience as a survivor, but also of the importance of being CPR certified and of maintaining a healthy heart. She is happy to share her experiences so that hopefully others will be able to live a heart-healthy life.
As an American Heart Association/American Stroke Association volunteer, Leigh has also been extremely helpful as a legislative advocate in CT, often contacting her legislators and testifying on bills of importance at the Capitol. She submitted written testimony to the Public Health committee in 2015 to make CPR training part of the public school curriculum so that others “may one day save the life of someone they love.” CPR in Schools training is now part of the school curriculum because of volunteer efforts like Leigh’s.