Wednesday, February 10, 2010
This story is as much about dental heroism as youth sports. But it feels very good.
Recently, a oral surgeon from Merrick, Long Island was attending a Bar Mitzvah. He saw a friend - actually the party's host - collapse on the dance floor. He rushed to the man and thinking quickly called out for a heart defibrillator. In a few seconds, Dr. Craig Levine had revived his friend Lew Goldman.
In 2007, a patient waiting in Dr. Levine's office collapsed of a heart attack. Dr. Levine saved her life too.
What makes this a youth sports story?
"In 2005, Levine's son Robbie, 9, died on a Little League ballfield in Merrick. A policeman responding to the scene brought an AED (automated external defibrillator) but it was too late.
"After their son's death, Levine, 44, and his wife, Jill, 40, launched Forever 9-The Robbie Levine Foundation to provide youth sports leagues with AEDs.
"Jill Levine said she will continue advocating for AEDs to be present not only at sports fields, but at catering halls and other event spaces where people might overexert themselves.
"Ideally I'd like to have it mandatory," she said. "Unfortunately, there are many Robbies.
"An AED donated by the foundation to the Baymen Soccer Club in Sayville was used to help a 40-year-old man who passed out during soccer practice in May 2009, she said.
"Her husband is gaining a reputation as some kind of angel, Jill Levine said.
"I have friends who tell me they want to hang out with only me now all the time," he said with a laugh.
"All these things that happen make me think of my son," Levine said. "I couldn't save my son, but I saved the lives of two people and spared their families."