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Heart condition strikes the young and traveling exhibit highlights LGBTQ+ struggle

Written by Merideth Bucher, Producer | Mar 27, 2019 4:56 AM

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Peyton Walker (L), The Peyton Walker Foundation has donated over 60 AEDs to schools, athletic organizations, nonprofit public venues, and police departments. Photos courtesy of The Peyton Walker Foundation.

What to look for on Smart Talk on Wednesday, March 27, 2019:

Young people and young athletes are dying every day from a little-known threat; Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is not a heart attack. It is the sudden onset of an abnormal and potentially fatal heart rhythm that causes the heart to beat ineffectively or not at all.

The most frightening aspect of SCA is that it will often happen without warning, and usually causes death if not treated within minutes.

The Walker family knows the devastation of SCA, firsthand. They lost daughter Peyton Walker in 2013 at the age of 19 due to SCA.

Sadly, their experience is not uncommon. There have been three reported deaths of young people from central Pennsylvania in the past two months, alone.

The Walker family hopes to save lives and save other families the devastation of this condition through the Peyton Walker Foundation.

Appearing on Smart Talk Wednesday to talk about their efforts is Julie Walker, Peyton's mom and executive director of The Peyton Walker Foundation and Dr. Mike Bosak, Interventional Cardiologist and UPMC Pinnacle Director of Cardiovascular Quality Assurance.  

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The Peyton Walker Foundation hosts free heart screenings for students ages 12-19 years old throughout the Central Pennsylvania area. Students receive a vitals check, get checked for heart murmurs and also receive an electrocardiogram (EKG). Photo courtesy of The Peyton Walker Foundation.

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The Peyton Walker Foundation conducts training on how to perform adult and child CPR, use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator), and basic first aid. Photo courtesy of The Peyton Walker Foundation.

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Dr. Mike Bosak, Interventional Cardiologist and UPMC Pinnacle Director of Cardiovascular Quality Assurance, and Julie Walker, Peyton's mom and executive director of the Peyton Walker Foundation.

Also, 50 years ago the LGBTQ+ community experienced a seminal event in their progress toward equality. Police in NYC raided a Greenwich Village neighborhood bar called the Stonewall Inn. The bar was frequented by members of the LGBTQ community and in the days that followed there were a succession of violent demonstrations challenging the police action. The "Stonewall Riots" are widely considered the flashpoint to the gay rights movement.

A traveling history exhibit highlighting this, and the efforts of activists, is now showing throughout Pennsylvania. The Long Road to LGBTQ+ Equality in Pennsylvania is sponsored by the PA LGBT History Network.

Joining Smart Talk to discuss the exhibit and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots are Barry Loveland, Chair, LGBT History Project and Mary Nancarrow, LGBT Community Activist who helped to pass the Harrisburg non-discrimination ordinance.

 

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Barry Loveland, Chair, LGBT History Project and Mary Nancarrow, LGBT Community Activist.

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