Your gentle touch, your tender care. A smile as bright as sunshine; a heart of no compare.
A spirit that will glow forever, in the memories that we share.

Thursday, February 28, 2013




And you, awesome supporters, have brought on FOUR MORE SENATORS to co-sponsor the bill, bringing the total number, including Senator Dinniman, to SEVENTEEN!!!

Our gratitude goes out to every single person who has signed our petition, made a phonecall to his or her senator, and spread word in support of requiring AEDs in public schools in PA.  You are doing it!!!!  This is going to happen!!!!

Our new co-sponsors are:
Senator Stewart Greenleaf (R-12):  Parts of Montgomery and Bucks counties

Senator Leanna Washington (D-4):  Parts of Philadelphia and Montgomery counties

Senator Christine Tartaglione (D-2):  Philadelphia (city and county)

Senator Tim Solobay (D-46):  All of Greene county and parts of Washington and Westmoreland counties

That's 17 out of Pennsylvania's 50 senatorial districts!!! HUGE!!!!!

Check 'em out: 1, 2, 4, 11, 12, 15, 17, 19, 20, 26, 32, 36, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46

Click on map to view original source


Friday, February 22, 2013

13 PA Senators Join Efforts for Aidan's Law!

In past blog entries, I've referred to Aidan as an "angel in the outfield," working in ways we don't understand to help us find a way to get through his loss and still keep his sweet spirit among us.  This week, we've been overwhelmed by the swiftness and enormity of the support that you, Aidan's 'teammates', have leveraged in order to build a growing coalition of Pennsylvania State Senators in advocating for heart-safe schools for all of our kids.

We know that many of your are working quietly on our behalf, taking time from your hectic schedules to help make this happen.  WE ARE SO GRATEFUL.  You have no idea.  WE ARE SO GRATEFUL.  THANK YOU. 

Your efforts have compelled three more senators to sign on in the last two days:

Sen. Mike Brubaker (R-36th District): Lancaster County

Sen. Jay Costa (D- 43rd District):  Pittsburgh Area

Sen. Wayne Fontana (D- 42nd District):  Pittsburgh Area

This brings the total number of co-sponsoring senators, not including our bill's authoring Sen. Andy Dinniman, to TWELVE!!!! 

Again, thank you, thank you, thank you. 

And Happy Friday :)

More Front Page News!

Please check out the front page of today's ExtonDOES online news publication:

Special thanks to Karin Petroll and Moxie Moms for spreading the word!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

More Press! Thank you, CoatesvilleDoes!

This was published today in our neighboring township!

Many thanks for spreading the word and encouraging people to support Aidan's Law!

Latest count:  2,375 signatures on our petition :)
Please keep it going-- the numbers MATTER, as do the phone calls to the senators!!!
Find your senator:

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

And Here's the Audio (KYW Interview)

Steve did great!!!!  This clip was featured in the morning rush hour spots earlier today-- we're grateful to Michelle for taking an interest in our story! 

Listen by clicking here.

We've Got TEN!!! (Senators!) and Nearly 2,500 Signatures!

GREAT WORK, everyone!!!  You're making a HUGE DIFFERENCE!!!  We've started reporting the numbers of signers per jurisdiction to several senators, and when we've called their offices, they're responding, "Yep, we know about Aidan's Law!"  Awesome, awesome, awesome job!!!!!  THANK YOU for signing and calling!!!

This afternoon we learned that Senator Daylin Leach (D-17th District-- parts of Delaware and Montgomery Counties) has signed on as a co-sponsor!!!

Earlier today, Senator Jim Brewster (D- 45th District-- parts of Westmoreland and Allegheny Counties) signed on!  

Yesterday, Senator Ted Erickson (R-26th District-- parts of Delaware and Chester Counties) agreed to co-sponsor our bill!

Add them to those that signed on earlier, as well as our original co-sponsors, Sen Andy Dinniman and Sen. John Rafferty, and we've got 20% of the PA Senate advocating for Aidan's Law!  SO exciting!!!

Our original co-sponsors:
Sen. Andy Dinniman (D-19th District)
Sen. John Rafferty (R-44th District)

Those that have joined our efforts:

We're learning more about the process.  In the next few days to week or so, Senator Dinniman will introduce our bill into the Senate for committee vote.  This is where it will be determined whether Aidan's Law is squashed, or (what's becoming more likely with more co-signees) will be voted onto the Senate floor for consideration.  AAAAAGH!!!!  This could really happen!!!! 


Keep it going in spreading the word about the petition and calling senators!!!!  Click here for more information!!!

Legislation Aims To Give Life To Defibrillators In Public Schools « CBS Philly

By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A bill is being introduced in the Pennsylvania Senate that would require an automated external defibrillator in all public school buildings in the Keystone state.
It’s a result of the hard work and grass-roots effort of a Chester County son whose seven-year old son died of sudden cardiac arrest in September, 2010.
Steven Silva is Aidan’s father, and he says this bill will go hand in hand with the law that requires that all student athletes (read more...)

Legislation Aims To Give Life To Defibrillators In Public Schools « CBS Philly

Michelle Durham

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Update: Another Co-Signer and KYW News

Steve, here.  Your efforts are paying off!!!!! We received word that an 8th senator, Senator Ted Erickson from Delaware and Chester Counties agreed to co-sign Aidan's Law! We're thrilled to partner with Senator Erickson and value his support.

We also got a call from Michelle Durham from KYW news radio, who said she was touched by our story and wants to help us spread the word!  Michelle interviewed me and Senator Dinniman, our primary sponsor of Aidan's Law, and the story will air during tomorrow morning's commute!  Make sure you listen two, three, four times a day........

If you have not done so already, keep calling your state senator and encourage her or him to co-sign Aidan's Law for AEDs in schools.  Senator Erickson made the comment that whatever we're doing is working, because his phones were ringing off the hook.  He was impressed.  Let's impress a few more.

Love to all. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Lorax and AEDs

Devin made us watch the entirety of The Lorax tonight. "Unless someone like you cares a whole lost, nothing is going to get better. It's not." Soooooooooooooooo, so true. Sign NOW to keep kids' hearts safe in schools.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

SCA: What Parents Need to Know

What Parents Need to Know About Sudden Cardiac Arrest and Their Children:
Click on the photo to hear the stories of Parent Heart Watch President Martha Anderson and others.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Local Student Saved by AED


Blair was at a school not 15 miles from us when she had her SCA this past September, almost exactly two years later to the day that Aidan passed from SCA. Thank goodness for the quick response of a bystander and one of the 6 AEDs the school had purchased a few years ago, "just in case". She is alive (and doing well) today because of these actions. Three weeks ago, I met her, and hugged her, and she's doing great :)  Click here for her story.

Student Who Died, Then Was Revived, Speaks from the Heart

Another success story.  Don't mean to bombard you guys with these, but it just goes to show how important AEDs are-- and a little insight into how frequently Sudden Cardiac Arrest strikes. 

More Proof That AEDs in School Make a Difference Between Life and Death...

We get these updates from Parent Heart Watch daily.  I don't post them frequently, because most stories end in tragedy.  What usually happens is someone didn't recognize the signs of Sudden Cardiac Arrest, or there wasn't one available, or the school actually had one but it was locked up.  And though we're addressing the availability of AEDs with our current legislation, our next steps have to do with training and awareness.  To that end, here's a survival story that will warm your hearts and hopefully inspire you to reach out even more than you already have.  And THANK YOU for your efforts :)

1,300 Signatures, 7 Co-Sponsoring Senators, and Counting!!!

MANY THANKS to YOU, the masses of supporters who have taken the significance of Valentine's Day to a new level by calling their senators and signing our AED in Schools petition to keep kids' hearts safe!

Nearly 33 people per hour have been signing!  And your efforts have netted us SEVEN CO-SPONSORING SENATORS so far!!!


Those that have so far agreed to co-sponsor Aidan's Law are:
(Click on their names to link to the district maps/municapality information)

Our original co-sponsors:
Sen. Andy Dinniman (D-19th District)
Sen. John Rafferty (R-44th District)

Those that have joined our efforts:

Please continue to spread word, particularly in the other corners and in the middle of the state.  The more senators that co-sign, the greater the chance our bill moves forward!

Steve and Christy
(and Aidan, Devin, and Quentin)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Heading to Harrisburg: Aidan's Law!

This MEMORANDUM (see below) went out to ALL SENATE MEMBERS yesterday afternoon!!!  So exciting!!!

Please pass along word and ask your PA friends and family to call their senators BY FRIDAY to urge them to support or sponsor the bill!!!

Also, PLEASE SIGN OUR PETITION.  It takes just a second.  Names en masse really make a difference!!!

Sign our petition and find your senator by clicking this link:
PA Residents: Call PA Senators to co-sponsor "Aidan's Law" keeping AED's in our schools

Aidan's Law calls for mandating at least one AED per school building in the public schools across the state of Pennsylvania.


Posted:February 12, 2013 04:33 PM
To:All Senate Members
From:Senator Andrew Dinniman and Senator John Rafferty
Subject:A bill to keep Automated External Defibrillators (AED’s) in our schools
We will soon introduce a bill to help reduce the number of young lives lost to sudden cardiac arrest, which is very conservatively estimated at 2,000 a year in the United States by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Our bill will require each public school instructional building to keep and maintain an automated external defibrillator (AED), the portable medical device designed to analyze the heart rhythm and deliver an electric shock to victims of ventricular fibrillation to restore the hearth rhythm to normal.

We are calling our bill Aidan’s Law in honor of Aidan Silva, a seven-year-old Chester County resident who succumbed to sudden cardiac arrest on September 4, 2010. Aidan had no symptoms of a heart condition prior to his death.

Some of our public schools already have AED’s due to Act 4 of 2001, a one-time AED program that placed nearly 2,000 AED’s in public and private schools. Warranties on machines from this time period ended approximately seven years ago and manufacturers recently announced they will stop making replacement parts for these machines in 2014. Our bill would ensure such dated machines are replaced and that all our public schools have AED’s that are fully charged and property maintained.

Similar to Act 4 of 2001, our bill would have the Department of General Services seek bids to purchase the number of AED’s needed to ensure one for every public instructional school building in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Department of Education would then assist public school entities in acquiring AED’s at a subsidized price.

To help the schools with the purchase of AED’s, our bill is again modeled after Act 4 of 2001 and would appropriate funding from the Tobacco Settlement Fund. Whereas Act 4 of 2001 appropriated $2.5 million to help with the purchases, our bill would appropriate $3 million.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Shamefully Overdue Updates.......

Steve here, pinch hitting for Christy.  So you'll have to put up with sub-par writing, bad humor, and the occasional grammatical mistake.  And then I'm going to hit you with more posts to promote upcoming events/initiatives/fundraisers, etc.  You'll deal.....

If we had a dollar for every time we looked at each other and said, "We really need to update the blog," we'd be livin' the life of Reilly.  But, we all know what is paved with good intentions, so we're taking a shot at getting you all caught up on the progress we've made in the last few months.  History nerd that I am, I'll take you through chronologically.

"I'm Just a Bill, Yes I'm Only a Bill......."

Back on November 15th (see, I told you it's been a while), Christy, our friend Kelly Hagelauer and I met with Pennsylvania State Senator Andy Dinniman from Chester County to seek his assistance in a legislative effort to mandate AEDs in all public and private schools in Pennsylvania.  Without getting too far afield, the back story is that in 2001, as part of the national tobacco settlement, Pennsylvania used part of its share of the settlement to offer AEDs to all public schools in PA.  Most took the state up on their offer, but not all did.  And not all those who took the AEDs actually put them out and made them available.  Ugh.

Those AEDs are now 13 years old and are operating on technology that was developed 20 years ago in the mid-1990s.  How many of us are using computers, cell phones, or driving cars from the mid-90s?  You get the picture.  The companies who made those AEDs announced that they are going to stop making parts for those older models, starting next year.  Our law would make schools acquire, actually put out for availability, and maintain modern AEDS to keep our students in the state safe.  New York did this almost ten years ago.  New Jersey did it last year.  Our turn......

Closer to Home......

Four days later, on November 19th, I met with the board of East Brandywine Youth Association (EBYA), our local rec league that offers a whole host of sports for the township's kids.  Aidan played t-ball and had just started soccer with them when he passed away.  Devin has played t-ball, indoor soccer and outdoor soccer with them.  It's a great league, and they invited me to the board meeting to witness the arrival of six AEDs they purchased, three of which they voted that night to donate to the township so the entire public would have access to them.  I informed them that their bold action inspired another local rec league to follow suit and purchase AEDs for their kids.  Hopefully that trend will continue, we'll cover Chester County and move beyond - much further beyond.

Christy and I joined Paul Heinmiller of EBYA about a week later on Tuesday, November 27th to present to the township three AEDs, purchased by EBYA, and three climate-controlled boxes to be externally mounted to house the three AEDs, purchased by the 5K for Aidan J.  Two of the AEDs and cases will be placed at East Brandywine Township Community Park and one will be placed at Spatola Field.  These are the most utilized parks by our community, especially our young athletes.  We were thrilled that the township board, our parks and rec committee, and our youth association were forward-thinking enough to do this before it happened again, and not wait for another tragedy. The story was covered by the "Daily Local," Chester County's local newspaper:

All Hail Penncrest High.......

Several colleagues and the officers of the Class of 2012 at Penncrest, now freshmen in college, coordinated over the fall semester to team up with the 5K for Aidan J. and purchase an AED that will be housed on the second floor of the school, where none currently exists.  This is not to say that Penncrest does not take AEDs seriously.  They already have four in the building, which is awesome, but they are all on the first floor.  Experts say that the goal is, in the event of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), to get to an AED and back to the victim in under two mintues.  If someone, God forbid, collapses on the 2nd floor at PHS, that goal will be more attainable.  Thanks to my colleagues and to the Class of 2012.  They are the reason why Penncrest is the best place in the world to work!

Only in Delco......

Ok, follow this spider web of connections, if you can.  In early December, we got an email from a woman named Monique Dougherty.  She's from Havertown, PA and told us about how her husband, Sean, passed away due to Sudden Cardiac Arrest last March, after being diagnosed with heart disease in February.  Unfortunately, that's why SCA is the number one killer in America.  It can happen due to a variety of causes and can be triggered by other heart ailments.  Or it can come out of nowhere, like it did to Aidan.  Sean was only 38 years old.

I emailed Monique back immediately and we arranged to talk that night.  What started out as an awkward comparison of lost loved ones turned into an hour-long bonding session.  Monique told me that Sean's friends came out of nowhere and from points distant (of course they did, Delco runs deep) to put together a fundraiser in Sean's honor.  Sean has a ton of nieces and nephews whom he adored, so Monique wanted to do something to benefit kids.  She heard about our organization, so she contacted us.

So here's where it starts getting wild.  I asked her how she found out about us.  She told me that one of her good friends from college is also one of her neighbors in Havertown.  That would be Peggy Gionta, sister-in-law of Stephen, who was the best man in our wedding, best friend to me throughout high school and college, godfather to Devin, and "Silly Uncle Stephen" to our boys.  I asked her where the event will be held.  She said, "Where Sean went to grade school - St. Denis."  I almost dropped my phone.  Christy taught there for one year - of course, it was the year she was pregnant with Aidan.  I played baseball with her next door neighbor in Lansdowne, where my grandparents lived for 50 years.  And so on and so on.

Christy told this story to her friend Megan, with whom she bonded after a mutual friend connected them.  Megan lost her son Declan last year to childhood cancer.  Thus the quick bond.  After hearing the story, Megan told Christy that her cousin was one of Sean's best friends growing up and one of the organizers of the fundraiser.  Ridiculous.

Finally, we're telling the whole story to our 5K for Aidan J. board in January and board member and all-around go-getter Jenna Kulp gasps and announces that the contact name on the flier promoting the fundraiser is one of her husband Steve's good friends from their days in Baltimore.  Again, ridiculous.  If we weren't meant to join forces.......

More about the fundraiser in an upcoming post.  SEAN PATRICK'S DAY, March 9th, St. Denis School, Havertown, PA.  You WILL be there......!!!!

We Went to Seattle in January, But Right Before That......

We were at the airport (Christy's birthday weekend!), getting ready to board the plane to the annual Parent Heart Watch Conference in Seattle, when we received an email informing us that the state of Pennsylvania officially approved our application and we are now our own non-profit agency! We've selected the name, "Aidan's Heart Foundation," and we are in the process of filing the appropriate paperwork with the IRS so that we can achieve 501(c)3 status, which enables donations to our organization to be tax-exempt.  We are able to legally accept tax-exempt donations now, though, so if you have any loose change laying around.......just saying.

Some Chowder, a Bit of Fog, and a Lot of Amazing Families......

The Parent Heart Watch Conference has become for us a bit of a family reunion.  The other families are amazing, and inspire us to keep going emotionally and in our efforts.  Parent Heart Watch itself is doing some amazing things; we strongly encourage you to check out their website and see for yourself.  We learned a lot, cried a lot, laughed a lot.  Christy kissed a fish at Pike Place Fish Market.  And I presented on the process of working with PHW in terms of fundraising.  It went well.  People smiled politely.  The local media said something about being incredibly handsome.  Then I read closer and realized they were talking about the waiter. 

It was two days after our return home from Seattle that we went to the AED trainings at Brandywine Wallace Elementary and the East Brandywine Fire House, which Christy posted about last week.

So there you have it - I think.  All that in the midst of the holidays, work, missing Aidan like mad, busy days with a seven-year old, and sleepless nights with a two-year old.  And while clearly we are making progress, and are thrilled about it, all of this takes place with a gaping whole in our souls, for Aidan is always -always- still in our every thought.  The extent to which we miss him knows no bounds.  But you know what helps?  Check in on us.  Talk about him.  Let us know you're thinking about him, too.  Talking about him to us won't upset us, we promise.  We're already there.  Nothing could be more helpful.

Love to all........

Friday, February 1, 2013

Your 5K for Aidan J. Donations Help Equip First Responders with an AED

Thanks to your support through our 5K for Aidan J. run/walk event, we were able to donate an AED to East Brandywine Fire Company for their new emergency vehicle.  EBFC was first to the scene the day that Aidan had his sudden cardiac arrest.  We've become quite close with them in the past two years.

Steve and Chip Miller, our Cardiac Science AED representative, trained the East Brandywine Youth Athletic league head coaches the night we made the donation of the AED.  Please see this article for more information...

On the evening of Wednesday January 23rd East Brandywine Fire Company received a very special donation.

Fire Chief John Edwards, accepted an AED on behalf of the Company donated by Steve and Christy Silva to be placed in the Command Vehicle.

Steve and Christy have made it their mission to increase the number of AED's in the community to specifically be used in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest, with a special emphasis on pediatrics.

You may wonder why this mission is so important to Steve and Christy? They are creating a legacy for their son Aidan who passed away on September 4th 2010 at the age of 7 years old. Past Chief Joe Edwards was first on scene in the Command Vehicle and initiated CPR. At that time the Command Vehicle was not equipped with an AED [read more...]

This marks our 22nd AED installation in the Downingtown area since June 2012!  Thank you for your continued support!  Please save the date for our 2013 5K for Aidan J. event-- Saturday, June 15th! for more information!