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Remembering Dom: A Fundraiser for Awareness

Dom Murray collapsed on the Farmingdale State College (FSC) basketball court during a game of pickup at age 17 in October of 2009. Murray fell unexpectedly in sudden cardiac arrest, a disease his father had also suffered and died from four years prior.

The student’s name has been remembered by his friends and family through a fundraiser basketball game at least once a year at FSC ever since. Melinda Murray, who is the victim’s mother and now the Dom Heart 21 foundation coordinator, believes that through this fundraiser her son will live on.

“With every person we get certified for CPR and AED, that gives my son’s heart another beat,” said Murray. The foundation raises money for a scholarship in remembrance of her son, for AEDs to be accessible throughout college campuses, and for AED and CPR certification classes to be readily available through St. Francis Hospital for people who are interested. Her goal is to reach 2,100 people certified, which symbolizes his sports number since childhood.

The family of Dom Murray believes that it is important for all players on any sports team to be tested for heart disease or malfunctions through both EKGs and stress tests every year.

Terrence Howard, a 22-year-old FSC graduate and Murray’s cousin said, “So many people pass away from this and no one even realizes it. We have to be fair and give everyone a chance to get tested.”

Howard also suffered some heart problems, threatening his being able to his last senior game. He passed his EKG, however, and was allowed to play in memory of his cousin. “I just miss him so much, wherever I was, Dom was,” said Howard.

During sudden cardiac arrest, the first three to five minutes are crucial in saving the victim’s life. FSC has taken the steps to adhere to that critical time period by placing AED signs around campus in indication of where the AED devices are located.

Some FSC basketball players have also taken the necessary steps in closing in on that time period, having been AED and CPR certified through the DOM HEART 21 foundation.

Christian Nunez, a 19-year-old sophomore who was a close friend of Murray’s, stressed the importance of the certification.

“We need to prevent this from happening again. It is too easy to prevent,” said Nunez.

In the fundraising game on Tuesday, Feb. 8, the Farmingdale Rams defeated the Old Westbury Panthers 87-70.

“We just play hard for him. That’s all we can do,” said Nunez.

The AED and CPR classes are given about once a month by the DOM HEART 21 foundation. Classes, other fundraisers, and sudden cardiac arrest awareness information can be found at the website www.DomHeart21.org.