Volunteer Spotlight: Jack O’Connell

Written by: Barrett Snyder
June 3, 2022
Jack O'Connell

Thursday, June 2nd, will be a very special day for Aidan’s Heart Foundation as they will host for the first time a “Youth-Led Hands-Only CPR + AED Community Training” event. In collaboration with the Chester County Hospital and the Marsh Creek Sixth Grade Center, Aidan’s Heart Foundation will host two FREE training sessions for parents, teachers, coaches, and other community members interested in learning how to save a life using CPR and AED skills. This event will be hosted by three Heart Hero CPR trainers including Cameron Donovan, Teigan Brown, and Jack O’Connell.

Here at Aidan’s Heart Foundation, we take extensive pride in our volunteers and choose to use this opportunity to highlight each of the three young Heart Hero CPR trainers who will be leading our event on June 2nd.

Our third and final installment features JACK O’CONNELL

Originally from Downingtown (PA), Jack recently graduated West Chester University cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Despite the “emotional rollercoaster” that comes with being a Philadelphia sports fan, the former collegiate basketball player remains fervently committed to supporting his hometown teams. Outside of his academic pursuits and daily responsibilities, Jack is an exercise enthusiast, dog owner, and “will occasionally indulge” in his favorite food, cheesesteaks.

Jack was introduced to Christa Silva, Aidan’s Mother and Board President of Aidan’s Heart Foundation, in August 2021 through his mother the founder of her foundation, A Path to Hope. After meeting Christy and having already been aware of the touching story that led to the creation of Aidan’s Heart Foundation, Jack graciously accepted Christy’s invitation to join the youth executive board for the June 2nd event and is honored to participate in this worthy cause.

Spreading awareness about CPR, AED, and the unfortunate recurring theme of serious heart issues in young people is a topic Jack knows all-to-well. Jack shared that his sister has endured a series of heart complications her whole life, giving him a front-row seat to the seriousness of heart conditions, even when seemingly minor in the minds of others.

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) knows no limits and does not discriminate based on age. It can occur anywhere, at any time. This highlights the idea that each of us can benefit from learning basic CPR skills and how to effectively operate an AED. The more individuals capable of performing these skills, hopefully the more lives will be saved.

The Philadelphia sports enthusiast and cheesesteak connoisseur aspires to earning a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology. Although not always obvious to family and/or the public, a wave of mental health issues including eating disorders are becoming more obvious with adolescents and young adults in the sports realm. Recognizing this phenomenon, and coupled with his love for sports, Jack is determined to be a voice of comfort, hope and reassurance for these athletes in need.

While the next five years of Jack’s life will be occupied with academics and clinicals, his commitment to Aidan’s Heart Foundation remains steadfast as he promises to further promote the importance of CPR and AED.

Similar to the other two Heart Hero CPR trainers we have spotlighted, Cameron Donovan and Teigan Brown, Jack remains interested in helping and being a role model for others.

Unfortunately, Jack will not be present on June 2nd at the “Youth-Led Hands-Only CPR + AED Community Training” event because of a previous engagement but he is, and will be, working behind the scenes to help make this event a success.

Written by Barrett Snyder
Barrett Snyder holds a Master of Science (MS) in Sports Management, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA). In his free time, he enjoys freelance writing, exploring the principles of kinesiology, reading about political theory, and mentoring those within his academic programs.