Heart Attack Survivor and Recipient of Abiomed’s Impella® Heart Pump Teaches CPR to Abiomed Employees during Heart Health Month

February 27, 2019

After Lisa Cardillo recovered from a heart attack in 2017, she set about a mission to train as many people as she could in CPR.

Cardillo, a homeschool teacher and recipient of Abiomed’s Impella® heart pump, recently visited Abiomed headquarters in Danvers during Heart Health Month to instruct company employees on how to perform hands-only CPR. Cardillo taught the course to more than 50 Abiomed employees, including an Abiomed operator who helped build the heart pump implanted during her cardiac emergency.

Cardillo suffered the heart attack during a wedding anniversary trip to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers with her husband. After checking into her hotel, Cardillo felt ill and recognized the symptoms of a heart attack. Cardillo was rushed to the hospital, where she collapsed and received immediate CPR. While there, she went into cardiac arrest and developed cardiogenic shock. Doctors implanted the Impella to support Cardillo’s heart and allow it to rest and recover. Nine days later, Cardillo was discharged from the hospital and she has since returned to her life as a busy mom.

“I want to pay it forward and my goal is to help spread awareness about the importance of CPR and give people the confidence to act,” said the 37-year-old Cardillo – a mother of three who lives in Michigan. “If you see someone in cardiac arrest, you can help them. The first few minutes are so critical. Bystanders are often a person’s first – and sometimes only – chance of surviving. Together we can make a difference.”

After recovering from her heart attack, Cardillo is now working to save others by teaching hands-only CPR. She has been trained and certified with the American Heart Association and approved for CPR & AED for adults, children, and infants. To date, Cardillo has trained hundreds of individuals in how to perform CPR, including more than 50 people at a party to celebrate the one-year anniversary of her heart recovery.

Abiomed manufactures the Impella, the world’s smallest heart pump, which is inserted through an artery in the leg and takes over the pumping function of the heart. Abiomed is one of the world’s fastest growing medical device companies and the only company with FDA approval for heart recovery.

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