A message from Zackary Beckman, Stefanie Cavanaugh, James Loftus and Ryan Price

CVP Class of 2009

SUNY Upstate Medical University

 

It is our duty, our honor and our privilege to carry on the legacy of Nick Rappa and we invite you to join us in this effort.

Nicholas B. Rappa Memorial Endowment

In remembrance of Nicholas B. Rappa

 

Nick Rappa was no ordinary man. Driven to seek perfection, he carried a humble confidence in his mastered skills. He was passionate, committed and a friend to many. These qualities made him a valued clinician in the field of Perfusion, a treasured friend and a deeply devoted father to his daughter Reese.

 

Although Nick’s life has been cut short, we as a community – his classmates from the SUNY Upstate CVP Class of 2009 – are determined to keep his dreams and legacy alive.

 

Our objective is to create a lasting fund that will be passed on to help train future Perfusion students and allow them to pick up where Nick left off. The grief that this tragedy has bestowed upon us is now the driving force to create something meritorious in his honor, the Nicholas B. Rappa Memorial Endowment.

 

As a classmate, Nick was a young, talented, confident perfectionist. He had a persistent drive to become the very best that he could be at whatever he set out to do. At first, Nick was shy, reserved and humble.  As our classes and rotations progressed and we grew to know each other, Nick’s sense of humor and charisma took over, replacing his shyness. What did remain was his humility. Nick quickly developed the skills required to be an excellent clinician, but he never bragged about what he had accomplished or what he was capable of. Instead, it was his nature to help others; to make them better so that they could do great things as well. We would all come to learn that Nick would master anything that inspired him.

 

Upon graduation in 2009, Nick was honored with the Clinical Excellence Award, a reflection of his raw talent and persistent drive. He spent the next four years honing his skills in San Antonio, Texas. In 2014, he accepted the Pediatric Perfusion position at The Children’s Hospital at Oklahoma University, where he advanced to senior staff perfusionist. His light was burning bright.

 

Our worlds became darker on October 12, 2018, a day that will be remembered as a somber and heartbreaking   day for the Cardiovascular Perfusion community, the SUNY Family and the SUNY Upstate CVP Class of 2009. On that fateful morning, Nicholas “Nick” B. Rappa was struck and killed by an alleged drunk driver. In our search for meaning in this terrible event, we find solace in preserving Nick’s legacy and in giving others an opportunity to work toward mastering what Nick so loved – perfusion.

 

Nick’s true gift to us all was how gracious he was with sharing his talents and natural abilities. He will forever be remembered by his friends, family, classmates and colleagues as a man of great humble confidence. The Perfusion community, the SUNY Family and the Upstate Medical University CVP Class of 2009 have lost a truly special person.

 

Thank you.

Pictured left to right: CVP Class of 2009 - Ryan, Stephanie, Zack, Jim, Nick

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