Friends Are a Heartbeat Away When 40-year-old John Adinolfi suddenly went into cardiac arrest in 2010, four minutes passed until he was resuscitated. Doctors initially thought he had experienced a heart attack. Until that moment Adinolfi, a heavy crane operator in Valparaiso, Indiana, had been a picture of perfect health. Genetic tests revealed that he had Brugada syndrome, a lifethreatening, incurable heart rhythm disorder. Tests on his children showed that his son, Zack, also has the rare syndrome. While John had a defibrillator implanted, 4-year-old Zack was too young for the procedure and needed an external defibrillator, which the family could not afford. John now lives with brain damage and is unable to work, and his wife Janis had to quit her job to care for her family. When Janis shared her story with the Valparaiso Lions, they made sure that Zack received his urgently needed portable defibrillator. The Adinolfis still live with stresses and struggles, but the Lions’ gift has provided them with some comfort and peace of mind. Q&A: Janis Adinolfi LION Magazine: How is Zack doing? Janis Adinolfi: He’s doing great. Although cardiac arrest can happen at any moment, he hasn’t had any incidents yet. We try to keep things as normal as possible for him. He always has his defibrillator, and someone trained to use it with him. He’s able to go to grandma’s house and play with other kids, and he started kindergarten this year. LM: Does Zack understand his condition? JA: We’ve told Zack he has a heart box because sometimes his heart doesn’t feel good. We want to be honest with him but only tell him what he needs to know or asks. We don’t want him to live life worried or paranoid, but to be a normal kid and have the best life he can. LM: Does having the defibrillator relieve some of the stress for you? JA: Yes, definitely. As a mom, it’s your job to protect your kids. But when you have a situation like this, it adds so much stress and can wear you down. Knowing the defibrillator is always there just in case could literally be lifesaving. If anything happens there’s only a three-minute response time, but I just know in my heart that Zack is going to be OK. I am forever grateful to the Lions. LM: It feels good to have friends like the Lions. JA: With both my husband and son being very sick and incurable, you find out fast who your friends are. Someone told me your true friends will stay with you through it all. The Lions are those kinds of friends. I can’t ever repay them, but I’ll tell them thank you over and over for as long as I can. To learn more about Brugada syndrome, visit www.brugada.org. Roar of Approval Past International Director Floyd Miller, a member of the Twin Falls Lions Club in Idaho, received the Governor’s Brightest Star Award for “improving the lives of children and families” from Idaho Governor C. L. “Butch” Otter. Shown with Idaho’s First Lady Lori Otter (left) and Boise Vista Lion Deanna Rostock, Miller was honored for his role in initiating a youth horseback riding project and an adventure program in addition to helping promote Leo clubs. Stafford Lion Dr. Vernon Roudebush serves beyond his own community as a member of the Arizona State Parks board. Because of his proposal to include Braille narratives on more public exhibits, a 2-feet by 3-feet Braille map of the state has been molded into bronze and placed on display at Kitchener Cavern State Park, 45 miles southwest of Tucson. Major cities, highways, mountains, rivers and the territorial boundaries of California, Utah and New Mexico are identified in Braille and scaled for accuracy. Roudebush says the effort took two years and cost several thousand dollars, but that the map has been “very well received” by both sighted and non-sighted visitors to the park. Bensalem Lion Al Minguez Sr., owner of Al’s Sewing Center, donated more than $3,000 worth of sewing machines, notions, craft supplies and eye wear accessories to the Bucks County Association for the Blind in Pennsylvania. Loranna Tate was honored with a Membership Award pin for recruiting new members for the Lake Wales Lions Club in Florida. In 1993 Tate was one of the first two women inducted into the New Cumberland Lions in West Virginia by Tate’s late husband, Jack Harris. Harris, a district governor at the time, tragically died in a car accident in 1996 while the two were headed to a district conference. Tate carried on her husband’s legacy, and the Lions helped her through that difficult time. Tate now divides her time between the New Cumberland and Lake Wales Lions.
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://digital.lionmagazine.org/article/Thank+You/1609881/192299/article.html.