Mikey Halpin was just 17 when he died two and a half years ago. The popular Los Gatos High School football player collapsed at school one week before his team played in the league championship game in 2008. He was later found to have a genetic heart condition that had gone undetected.
Since that time, his father, Tim Halpin, dedicated himself to raising awareness of the problem of undetected heart conditions among teens. He worked extensively with local hospitals to encourage teenage athletes to undergo testing to detect heart anomalies. And his nonprofit raised money to put defibrillators in schools.
He also he worked tirelessly with former Central Valley Assemblyman Mike Villine to introduce a bill that would make cardiac testing mandatory for minors. “I don’t want other parents to go through the heartache I have — and still have,” he explained.
Tim Halpin died on Sunday after an accident while driving his motorcycle home from a Fourth of July party. According to police, he veered off Blossom Hill Road, just a few hundred feet from the family home on Ohlone Court. He was spotted by a passerby lying on the embankment, and police say that he was still conscious when they arrived. The officer who found Tim Halpin reportedly smelled alcohol on his breath.
Halpin was taken to Valley Medical Center, where his condition began to deteriorate shortly after 7am. He was pronounced dead at 8:30am.
Halpin’s daughter, Rose Telles. described how her father never fully recovered from her brother Mikey’s death. “He just tried to stay busy.” she said. Now the family has a second tragedy to contend with. “The only thing that’s keeping me together,” says Telles, “is that I know my dad’s with my brother now.”