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John and Luann Ellsessar, Massachusetts


Michael wore No.99 on his football jersey, but his parents would say that he was No. 1 in their hearts. Michael loved all sports, playing football in the fall, track and field in the spring, but his passion was hockey in the winter. He was a great student and a great teammate. In the fall of 2010, it was the second play of the game at Quaboag Regional High School in Warren when Michael, a sophomore at Sutton Memorial High School and a member of the Oxford High School junior varsity team, caught a pass and was hit in the chest by an opposing player. He was tackled and fell over, Michael suffered sudden cardiac arrest. The referee, rushed to Michael and began cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), but a portable automated external defibrillator (AED) wasn't available until EMT's arrived 15 minutes later. Unfortunately Michael’s story has a tragic end, schools need to be prepared for all medical emergency including ones that occur on the athletic fields. Michael’s parents, John and Luann have been tireless advocates on making sure that all schools are prepared for medical emergencies. John and Luann have participated in numerous legislative visits; they have shared their story with the media and through testimony. We are fortunate that the Ellsessar’s have taken their tragedy and passionately advocated so no other family would suffer the same fate.

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