Bobby Pantano, A 14-Year-Old with Guts

Bobby Pantano receiving AED Plus
Jon Rennert, President, ZOLL Medical, presents an AED Plus
to Bobby and his parents, Karen and Ken Pantano.

September 23, 2010 - Bobby Pantano, age 14, just started high school in the fall of 2010 in New Hampshire, where he is an only child living with his parents Karen and Ken. When you first meet him, you would hardly guess that he is a master at “freestyle scootering,” as seen in his YouTube videos, and has even competed and placed nationally he placed fourth in his division in a top scooter competition in San Diego. But one look at him in action will prove you wrong. His YouTube video performances are each more impressive than the next.

In addition to being a pro at freestyle scootering, Bobby shows great promise as a video producer, based on the way his videos are choreographed to music and use special effects. 

Bobby does what he loves, despite the fact that at 2 years old he was diagnosed with Bicuspid Aortic Stenosis, the most common cause of which in younger people is a congenital bicuspid valve, in which the aortic value consists of only two “cusps” (flaps) instead of the normal three.  People with this condition usually develop symptoms in their 40s or 50s, but Bobby did when he was just 13.  As a result, he had two open heart surgeries at Boston’s Children’s Hospital in July 2010. The first surgery was intended to repair his aortic valve, but the repair didn’t take, so six days later it was necessary to perform a second surgery called the Ross Procedure.  This involved the transfer of his own pulmonary valve to become his aortic valve, and then replacing his pulmonary valve.  By the time school rolled around in September, Bobby was cleared to start high school and return to his normal activities, so you can expect to see more of his great videos in the near future!

Bobby Pantano touring ZOLLAs fate would have it, the Pantano family was at the August 30, 2010 Lowell Spinners game in Lowell, Mass., which was sponsored by ZOLL Medical Corporation for the benefit of the American Heart Association  (AHA) Merrimack Valley Heart Walk in Lowell on October 16, 2010.  ZOLL held a raffle for one of its AED Plus® automated external defibrillators with Real CPR Help®, in addition to CPR/AED training from Trinity EMS.  Entry forms for the random drawing were available to anyone who made a donation to the Heart Walk.  The Pantanos were the lucky winners!  Given Ken’s family history of heart conditions, along with Bobby’s own heart condition and recent surgery, he had started to research AEDs so that the family  would have one in their home as added protection.  They felt very fortunate to have won this appropriate and timely “Heart Safe” prize package.

In September, Bobby and his parents were presented the AED Plus by President Jon Rennert, as well as given a tour of ZOLL’s manufacturing operation in Chelmsford, Mass.  Bobby was also awarded a ZOLL-sponsored AH Red Cap reserved for survivors of heart disease and stroke, which is handed out at each year’s Heart Walk. 

We wish Bobby all the best in high school and beyond, and we hope that the AED Plus his family won will never have to be used in the Pantano home or elsewhere!

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