Little Hearts began with a little heart

Little Hearts, Big World was founded by Melissa Padulsky, an EMT and career safety instructor who has taught thousands of civilians, first responders, corporate clients, babysitters, Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts the life-saving skills of CPR, first aid and many occupational safety courses.

Little Hearts founder Melissa Padulsky with Zoe and her sisters.
Melissa with Zoe, the first of the three sisters. She's now 13 and doing well.

The company’s name is a tribute to a friend’s daughter, Zoe, who was born with a rare heart defect, Tetralogy of Fallot.  In every class she taught where pediatrics came into play, Melissa mentioned her condition and what she and her family experienced. Then, her two sisters were born, one of whom also had a heart condition.  Awareness was created of the greater chance of siblings having a heart defect if one child is affected.

Cancun firefighters
Cancun's volunteer firefighters with Melissa, second row, second from right in blue shirt.

Melissa was further inspired by an opportunity to teach firefighters in Mexico. This life-changing experience allowed her to teach a group of caring and compassionate people with limited resources who simply wanted to serve their community.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, Melissa conducted some classes via ZOOM. CPR manikins and AED trainers in bins and delivering them to each student’s residence for class. Her extraordinary efforts to teach in this manner and to continue teaching the skills required by police officers, firefighters and EMTs during the pandemic won her a 2021 Union County Small Business Community Champion citation.