On July 18, 1990, Ryan Davis Lopynski was born…a very special first child, and first grandson. Eighteen years later, as a seemingly healthy college freshman at Virginia Tech, Ryan died suddenly and without any warning at his home in Clifton, Virginia on April 26, 2009. The specific cause of his death is unknown. They did discover that he had an enlarged heart, which was fitting as he had a heart that was bigger than life itself.
On April 24, 2009 Ryan came home from Virginia Tech on a mission to find a summer job. His mom was in Denver for the weekend at her Godchild Samantha’s 1st Holy Communion. The rest of the family met up with him including his dad and three siblings. His oldest sister Erin was a senior at PVI High School, Shannon an 8th grader at Robinson Middle School, and his brother Dillon a sixth grader at Willow Springs Elementary School. It was a typical fun weekend hanging out with Ryan: eating at his favorite Glory Days Restaurant, watching NFL football, playing video games, downloading music, and celebrating the ultimate Redskins draft pick, Brian Orakpo. On Sunday morning Ryan stepped into the shower after his dad woke him up to attend his sister Shannon’s basketball game. His dad came down wondering the delay and found him curled up on the shower floor. Despite the efforts of the family and paramedics, his heart could not be revived.
The Ryan Lopynski big Heart Foundation was established to honor our son, and to increase public awareness of Sudden Cardiac Arrest through education and action. By exposing SCA as a grave health risk that claims the lives of 30 young adults per week in the US, our hope is to empower our families and communities, to reduce the occurrence of SCA and save lives.