• Family celebrates passage of AED bill in memory of lost sons

    By: Ted Daniel


    BOSTON - A Massachusetts family celebrated Tuesday after lawmakers passed a bill requiring automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in every public school.

    For John and Luann Ellsessar, of Sutton, it’s mission accomplished.

    All it needs now is the signature of Governor Charlie Baker.

    “He says if it reaches his desk, he will sign the bill, which is music to our ears,” John Ellsessar said.

    For his family, the push has been personal. He and Luann lost two of their children to heart conditions.

    Their son Mike collapsed on a football field during a game and their son Timothy died while swimming.

    “Students are very vulnerable, an athlete every three days dies, and a person every 48 seconds is dying of a cardiac event. This is one of the number one killers and it's just not talked about,” Luann Ellsessar said.

    There are nearly 300 schools in Massachusetts without AEDs, which cost about $900 each.

    The Ellessars say the ability to save a life is worth every penny.

    “Whatever is going on at that school, the AED is there for the students, the athletes; but also for the teachers; but also any person who's passing through the school district,” said John Ellsessar.

    PREVIOUS: AED bill awaiting committee approval as Massachusetts legislative session winds down

    Next Up: