On Labor Day Weekend in 2010, Christy Silva’s seven-year-old son Aidan suddenly collapsed, without warning, and died from unexplained Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Despite investigations by medical examiners and geneticists, the cause for the arrhythmia that “short-circuited” Aidan’s heart is still unknown. Christy and her husband soon learned that 70 percent of conditions that cause SCA in children can be detected by a simple, quick, non-invasive routine electrocardiogram, or EKG. In the midst of their personal tragedy, Christy was determined to take action and keep Aidan’s memory alive. She founded Aidan’s Heart Foundation to provide awareness, education, and support to the communities of the southeast Pennsylvania region and its surrounding area to create heart-safe communities for youth in the prevention of and/or response to Sudden Cardiac Arrest. With Christy’s leadership, the Foundation has successfully coordinated the EKG screenings of 1,800 youths, detecting potentially life-threatening heart conditions that went previously undetected in 25 young people. An additional 15 percent of those screened were also referred for follow-up testing for high blood pressure, cholesterol, and other health-impacting conditions. The Foundation has helped passed state legislation (PA Act 35, known as “Aidan’s Law”) to ensure that all schools in Pennsylvania are equipped with updated AED devices – and trained more than 4500 sixth-grade students and 400+ adults in life-saving CPR-AED skills.
Being a Women of Worth means sharing life-saving information that will help other families learn how to avoid the tragedy of losing a loved one. Aidan may be gone but our work is keeping his legacy alive.