STORIES

of the

HEART

Witness the devastation that Sudden Cardiac Arrest is having on our youth — stories of seemingly healthy young lives lost suddenly and unexpectedly to SCA, and of those who suffered severely debilitating consequences of SCA — all because the appropriate live-saving actions were not taken.

Louis Acompora

Louis Acompora

Louis Acompora - Stories of the Heart

Louis died at age 14, March 25, 2000, during a lacrosse game. In his position as goalie, Louis blocked what appeared to be a routine shot with his chest protector, took a few steps and collapsed. Paramedics arrived with a defibrillator almost 15 minutes later. Louis died from Commotio Cordis, a syndrome which occurs from blunt impact trauma during the critical cycle in the rhythm of the heart.

Sarah Thorp Acton

Sarah Thorp Acton

Sarah Thorp Acton - Stories of the Heart

Sarah, age 31, was a vibrant Spanish teacher at Tapestry High School in Buffalo, NY. She had organized a trip to Costa Rica for 11 of her students. While on the white water rafting trip, she collapsed and died in the raft. There was no AED but CPR was used to no avail. She had no prior history of heart issues.

 

Daniel Naim Ajlouny

Daniel Naim Ajlouny

Daniel Naim Ajlouny - Stories of the Heart

Daniel Naim Ajlouny, age 21, had a sudden cardiac arrest in October 2007. A student at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, Daniel was an avid outdoorsman and adventurer. The cause of death was Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM).

Taylor Allan

Taylor Allan

Taylor Allan - Stories of the Heart

Zach Allen

Zach Allen

Zach Allen - Stories of the Heart

Zach, age 15, was diagnosed at age 1 with A/V congenital heart block. He was monitored by a pediatric cardiologist for years, and had successful surgery to implant a pacemaker at age 12. As a result he was given full clearance without restrictions, except for extreme contact sports like football. In July 2013, Zach had a normal EKG and stress test. On October 8, 2013, he died in his sleep from the onset of a sudden arrhythmia.

Sean Anderson

Sean Anderson

Sean Anderson - Stories of the Heart

Sean, age 10, was rollerblading when he collapsed on February 15, 2004.  Those that witnessed his collapse thought he was “just having a seizure”.   Sean received CPR, but defibrillation was not available for more than 10 minutes later, when EMS arrived. The cause of his cardiac arrest was an undetected condition that affects the electrical system of the heart.

Eric Aurora

Eric Aurora

Eric Aurora - Stories of the Heart

Eric, 25, was identified as having Long QT while getting a physical for a job. He followed up with a cardiologist who advised him to take medication and to refrain from participating in endurance training of any sort.  Eric ultimately chose not to take his medication due to cost and how it made him feel.  He passed away in his sleep and no one was there to administer CPR or use an AED.

John Babbitt

John Babbitt

John Babbitt - Stories of the Heart

John was 16 years old when he collapsed while playing basketball with his friends. The cause of death was undiagnosed hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Kelly Ballenger

Kelly Ballenger

Kelly Ballenger - Stories of the Heart

Sharon Bannasch

Sharon Bannasch

Sharon Bannasch - Stories of the Heart

Sharon, age 17, collapsed dead after talking to friends at her front door. The EMTs arrived in just over one minute, yet did not attempt defibrillation. This was performed at the hospital, but too late. The coroner ruled that Sharon’s death was caused by a recent case of mononucleosis. A cardiologist later suggested that Long QT syndrome was the cause. After consultations and testing, it was confirmed that Sharon had Type 1 Long QT. Her mother and younger sister were also diagnosed and given appropriate treatment.

Chad Barcia

Chad Barcia

Chad Barcia - Stories of the Heart

On March 29, 2005, Chad, age 17, was playing rugby for his school. He was standing on the field laughing with his friends about a play that he had just run when he collapsed on the field and died from undiagnosed Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.

Jordan Barefoot

Jordan Barefoot

Jordan Barefoot - Stories of the Heart

Jordan, age 13, had been diagnosed with aortic valve stenosis at age 6. Five years later he was checked for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, but there was no definitive diagnosis. One Friday evening, Jordan went to bed late after staying up most of the night playing video games. When his mother tried to wake him the next day, Jordan was unresponsive. He had suffered sudden cardiac arrest and died in his sleep.

Tariq Barfield

Tariq Barfield

Tariq Barfield - Stories of the Heart

Tariq, age 15, was warming up for track practice at school when he collapsed in front of his schoolmates, coaches, teachers, and his mother. The underlying cause of death is unknown.

Anthony Bates

Anthony Bates

Anthony Bates - Stories of the Heart

Anthony played football since he was nine years old, and participated in other sports throughout his youth. Each year he was required to have a pre-participation physical examination. Not once did this PPE require an exam of his heart. Anthony suffered a sudden cardiac arrest while driving after a light workout at the Kansas State University weight room. Anthony was 20 years old when he died from undiagnosed Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). He never complained of symptoms.

Cameron Batson

Cameron Batson

Cameron Batson - Stories of the Heart

Cameron, age 18, collapsed while playing a pickup game of soccer with his brother and friends. There was no AED on the field. The cause of Cameron’s death was Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia (ARVD), a genetic condition. After Cameron’s death, his 15 year old brother was diagnosed with the same condition, had a defibrillator implanted in his chest and is no longer able to participate in any competitive sport.

Janna Becker

Janna Becker

Janna Becker - Stories of the Heart

Janna, age 15, was a seemingly healthy and athletic. She had two fainting episodes during an 11-month period. The first episode occurred while sitting in class at school. An electrocardiogram was done in the emergency room, and was read only by the ER physician. Her parents were told everything was fine, and that all her tests (lab work, ECG, and CT scan of her brain) were normal. Doctors advised that she eat more breakfast, drink plenty of fluids and use more salt on her food.

After Janna’s second fainting episode, which occurred upon arising from sleep, she was seen by a neurologist who said that she was probably having seizures, but not often enough to be put on medication. Janna passed in her sleep on December 31, 2002. After Janna’s death her family learned that her father, as well as two cousins, also have Long QT Syndrome.

Virginia Bevis

Virginia Bevis

Virginia Bevis - Stories of the Heart

Ryan Birley

Ryan Birley

Ryan Birley - Stories of the Heart

Ryan, age 29, died from a sudden cardiac arrest while watching television after coming home from work. He was in excellent health and had been a tennis teaching professional for a number of years. Autopsy revealed no cardiac abnormalities and an arrhythmia was presumed to be the cause of his sudden cardiac arrest.

Nick Blakely

Nick Blakely

Nick Blakely - Stories of the Heart

Nick, age 19, an outstanding college student and athlete collapsed during football practice. Prior to collapsing on the sidelines, Nick had complained to coaches of feeling light-headed, dizzy and as having chest pain.  His annual checkups and sports physicals never revealed any health issues.  The underlying cause of Nick’s cardiac arrest remains unknown.

Raven Blanco

Raven Blanco

Raven Blanco - Stories of the Heart

Justin Bonafide

Justin Bonafide

Justin Bonafide - Stories of the Heart

On April 21, 1997, Justin was running in the yard when he told his dad that his heart was racing. Minutes later, Justin went into distress and appeared to be having a seizure. His mother immediately called 911.

First responders were at the home in three minutes, but Justin was in full cardiac arrest. Despite tireless efforts by paramedics at his home, in the ambulance and at the hospital, Justin was never revived. Justin had been an active, healthy nine-and-a-half-year-old and no cause for his sudden arrhythmia was found.

Ryan Boslet

Ryan Boslet

Ryan Boslet - Stories of the Heart

Ryan, age 17, collapsed and died during football conditioning drills during a morning workout before school on February 20, 2003. Cause of death was undetected Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM).

Evan Boungnasiri

Evan Boungnasiri

Evan Boungnasiri - Stories of the Heart

Jeffrey Bowman

Jeffrey Bowman

Jeffrey Bowman - Stories of the Heart

Jeff, age 17, collapsed during the first day of football practice in August, 2007, and died one week later. With a quicker response (EMT, CPR and defibrillation) on the field, he would have survived. The school did have a defibrillator near the gymnasium, but no one retrieved it. They also did not call 911 for at least three to four minutes after his collapse. The underlying cause of Jeff’s cardiac arrest remains unknown.

Crissy Brackett

Crissy Brackett

Crissy Brackett - Stories of the Heart

Jimmy Brackett

Jimmy Brackett

Jimmy Brackett - Stories of the Heart

Jarrett Brenner

Jarrett Brenner

Jarrett Brenner - Stories of the Heart

Kyle Brewer

Kyle Brewer

Kyle Brewer - Stories of the Heart

Kyle, age 16, and a track athlete collapsed while talking to his teammates and soon after running the 400 meter. He received CPR almost immediately by his teammates and coaches. An AED on the field was used. Kyle was rushed to a local hospital and then air lifted to a larger hospital.  At first, no one knew what was wrong with Kyle; some believed it was a seizure, but doctors determined it was SCA after looking at the AED report.  He was in a drug-induced coma and when taken off all medication he suffered another SCA that took his life.  Kyle had been seen by a cardiologist because of fainting spells that happened to him twice before his death, but doctors found him to be healthy and cleared him to participate in sports.  The cause of Kyle’s death was anomalous aortic origin of coronary artery.

David Brooks

David Brooks

David Brooks - Stories of the Heart

Bailee Bullock

Bailee Bullock

Bailee Bullock - Stories of the Heart

Since age 7 Bailee had complained that her heart “felt funny” and sometimes hurt. Over the next several years Bailee had various electrocardiograms and wore holter monitors. At age11 she also had an echocardiogram and was found to have an atrial septal defect (ASD). Surgery to correct the ASD was performed at age 13. After surgery, Bailee continued to complain about her heart “feeling funny” and pain. After electrocardiograms and echocardiograms, the cardiologist said that Bailee’s heart looked great.

At age 15, Bailee suffered cardiac arrest while at a sleepover at her best friend’s house. She looked like she was having a seizure and the 911 operator instructed her friend’s mother not to do CPR as she was seizing. When EMS arrived, they used the AED to shock Bailee’s heart, but rhythm never returned to normal. The cause of death is unknown.

Richard Burch

Richard Burch

Richard Burch - Stories of the Heart

Richard was born with a double outlet right ventricle, ventricular septal defect and aortic stenosis. After two surgeries to repair heart defects, he spent the next 12 years without medication or complications and was active in sports. On March 29, 2000, at age 13, Richard became faint during physical education class. Shortly after, he went into cardiac arrest and died.

Chad Butrum

Chad Butrum

Chad Butrum - Stories of the Heart

Brooke Cambron

Brooke Cambron

Brooke Cambron - Stories of the Heart

Danica Canfield

Danica Canfield

Danica Canfield - Stories of the Heart

Justin Carr

Justin Carr

Justin Carr - Stories of the Heart

Justin, age 16, was at swim practice at his high school when he suffered sudden cardiac rest from undiagnosed Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.  Justin was a scholar, actor and an artist who won an Emmy for “God help us achieve world peace – Justin Carr’s Story”.

Timothy Carroll

Timothy Carroll

Timothy Carroll - Stories of the Heart

Timothy, age 22, collapsed after running up three flights of stairs. A friend found him four hours later. Although doctors had found an aortic valve issue when Timothy was 12 years old and suspected Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome (WPW), no treatment was offered. The Carroll family was told that “Tim was perfectly healthy and would live a long time.”

Savannah Carroll

Savannah Carroll

Savannah Carroll - Stories of the Heart

Geremy Carter

Geremy Carter

Geremy Carter - Stories of the Heart

Geremy, age 14, collapsed while playing basketball during PE class on May 25, 2011. He did not receive proper care for more than 20 minutes after collapasing. The underlying cause of his cardiac arrest is unknown.

Matthew Casto

Matthew Casto

Matthew Casto - Stories of the Heart

Johannes Claerbout

Johannes Claerbout

Johannes Claerbout - Stories of the Heart

Johannes experienced much during his 25 years, enjoying many activities and travels. He died of sudden cardiac arrest shortly after arriving at his office, following a workout at the gym. Johannes had shown no symptoms, and appeared to be in the best of health. He was never given a heart exam.

Ryan Clarke

Ryan Clarke

Ryan Clarke - Stories of the Heart

Ryan, age 30, died on March 17, 2011; celebrated his birthday three days prior. He had no previous signs or symptoms of a heart condition. Ryan’s autopsy did not reveal the underlying cause of his cardiac arrest.

Jessica Clinton

Jessica Clinton

Jessica Clinton - Stories of the Heart

During a cheerleading practice break on October 2, 2003, 17 year-old Jessica went to get a drink of water. She suddenly collapsed at the fountain and was pronounced dead on arrival to the hospital. Cause of death was severe Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP). Jessica had numerous physicals, but MVP was never diagnosed. Her sister was diagnosed with MVP prior to Jessica’s death, but the family was not told to have other members tested.

Burke Cobb

Burke Cobb

Burke Cobb - Stories of the Heart

Burke, age 14, was preparing to enter his freshman year and was already a member of the high school football team. On July 19, 2012, he went to football practice, then stayed for a pick-up game of basketball where he collapsed and suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. The school had 4 AEDs, but no one was trained or knew how to access them on this particular day. The cause of death was Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.

Andrew Cohn

Andrew Cohn

Andrew Cohn - Stories of the Heart

Gavin Collins

Gavin Collins

Gavin Collins - Stories of the Heart

Mitchell Cook

Mitchell Cook

Mitchell Cook - Stories of the Heart

Mitchell, age 14, collapsed during football practice at school on August 7, 2013. He received CPR immediately, but an AED was not available at the school. Mitchell had mitral valve prolapse, was regularly seen by doctors and was said to be doing fine before his death. The cause of death was idiopathic cardiomypathy.

Ben Coulter

Ben Coulter

Ben Coulter - Stories of the Heart

Ben, age 22, had just moved into a new apartment and was hanging up pictures when his heart stopped. Ben had no previous diagnosed heart condition.

Jonathan Cowley

Jonathan Cowley

Jonathan Cowley - Stories of the Heart

Jonathan, age 20, had always been an athlete, specializing in soccer, lacrosse and golf. He had just returned home for the summer after completing his freshman year at Virginia Commonwealth University. Just five days after his 20th birthday, Jonathan suffered SCA in his sleep and did not wake up the next morning. The cause of his death was a sudden arrhythmia.

Andrew Crockett

Andrew Crockett

Andrew Crockett - Stories of the Heart

Andra Dalrymple

Andra Dalrymple

Andra Dalrymple - Stories of the Heart

Andra, age 12, complained of feeling dizzy during and after trying out for her school’s soccer team.  Shortly after she went into cardiac arrest.  Paramedics were able to revive her at the scene, but she died two days later at the hospital.  The cause of Andra’s death was undetected Long QT Syndrome.

Legacy of the Lost is dedicated to all the young lives lost to Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

FOR PARENTS WHO HAVE LOST A CHILD TO SUDDEN CARDIAC ARREST

If you are grieving the death of your child, or know bereaved parents struggling with the emotional trauma of their tragic loss, please reach out to Parent Heart Watch for support or to share your story.