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 an underlying heart condition went undetected or the appropriate live-saving actions were not taken.

Joseph Hendrix

Joseph Hendrix

Joseph Hendrix - Stories of the Heart

Joseph, age 23, collapsed in his office on April 18, 2002 from SCA due to cardiac hypertrophy. A physical 18 days earlier found no indication of heart disease. Joseph was an Eagle Scout in high school and one of the state’s top six freestyle swimmers. He loved people, and his smile lit up every room he ever entered.

Alberto Hernandez

Alberto Hernandez

Alberto Hernandez - Stories of the Heart

Chris Hiscoe

Chris Hiscoe

Chris Hiscoe - Stories of the Heart

Emilie Hobbs

Emilie Hobbs

Hobbs Emilie - Stories of the Heart

Emilie passed away on February 23, 2018, in Lafayette, Indiana at Franciscan Hospital from complications due to ventricular fibrillation that led to cardiac arrest while on a training run. Unknown to anyone, and displaying no obvious signs, Emilie had two congenital heart conditions: arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia and hypertrophic septal cardiomyopathy. Emilie was 22 years old and just a month shy of her 23rd birthday. She had just completed her undergrad degree in biochemistry from Rose-Hulman and was working toward her PHD in biochemistry at Purdue University. Emilie had been a competitive runner since the age of 11 and was training for a marathon when her VFIB and SCA occurred. A man who was driving by, stopped his car and began administering CPR. No AED was available, but the ambulance arrived within 4 minutes. The paramedics applied the AED immediately, and it delivered a shock, but the pulse was lost. Many attempts by three cardiologists over the next twelve hours were made to regain a pulse and regular heart rhythm, but Emilie never stabilized. In retrospect, Emilie did display subtle symptom such a dizziness, shortness of breath, fatigue, and one episode of syncope while running. Had we known these were the hallmark symptoms of ARVD and not simply anxiety, stress, or dehydration and electrolyte loss as doctors had determined, we would have pushed for more testing. Hindsight is nearly always 20/20, and we would like help to educate and inform others so they can be prepared and proactive.

Olivia Hoff

Olivia Hoff

Olivia Hoff - Stories of the Heart

Greg Holthaus

Greg Holthaus

Greg Holthaus - Stories of the Heart

Greg, age 18, was visiting friends on a college campus when he said he wasn’t feeling well and went to the dorm bathroom. His friends woke up to find Greg collapsed on the  bathroom floor.  Although CPR was performed, they believe Greg was already dead. The autopsy revealed he died of sudden cardiac arrest caused by an unknown heart defect, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. His death was the first sign of a problem.

Shane Holton

Shane Holton

Shane Holton - Stories of the Heart

Shane, age 21, died in his sleep on an Army base at Fort Wainwright Alaska in November 2013. He was born premature at 24 weeks, but went on to thrive with no known health problems. Shane joined the Army after high school and passed all of his physicals and basic training. The underlying cause of his cardiac arrest is unknown.

Kyle Honan

Kyle Honan

Honan Kyle 300x300 - Stories of the Heart

Kyle was 24 years old when he died in his mother’s arms of sudden cardiac arrest caused by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. She had performed CPR for 25 minutes but could not save him. He had a heart of gold, always seeking to help others, including saving a friend from committing suicide. He was a beloved big brother to his two younger brothers, one of whom has autism, ran Special Olympics throughout high school and tutored children with autism during the last years of his life.

Shannon Huber

Shannon Huber

Shannon Huber - Stories of the Heart

Danielle Hymowitz

Danielle Hymowitz

Danielle Hymowitz - Stories of the Heart

Danielle, age 11, was swimming at summer camp when she complained of exhaustion, shortness of breath and chest pain. After seeing the camp nurse and returning to activity, she was ultimately sent home. Within a short period she became lethargic and was taken to the hospital. She died within four hours after the onset of symptoms of viral myocarditis.

Ian Hyzy

Ian Hyzy

Ian Hyzy - Stories of the Heart

Ian, age 7, went into sudden cardiac arrest at home on February 12, 2016. He was taken by ambulance to a local hospital.  The next day, he was transported to an out of state children’s hospital where he was treated for two and a half weeks. It was quickly discovered that Ian had Long QT Syndrome, which was exacerbated by Zithromax, an antibiotic he had been taking. He also suffered brain damage from his cardiac arrest.  Ian’s family took him home, where he passed away on March 6, 2016.   Genetic testing revealed that Ian was born with the gene mutation.  His family tested negative for Long QT.

Tom Idowu

Tom Idowu

Tom Idowu 1 - Stories of the Heart

Toluwani Idowu aka Tom, entered this world among an exclusive club of babies who would share a birthday with Jesus, being born on Christmas day 1997. Tom was a young man of many passions, and played several sports during the years. He was involved in track and field at Florida State University.

But brewing silently underneath his athleticism and his many other activities was a significant heart condition! Nothing in his exterior would have given it away; he had the perfect build of an athlete and no one would have imagined he was stoppable. On April 29, 2020, at the age of 22, Tom was suddenly stopped in his tracks, succumbing to a sudden cardiac arrest while on a run down Chapel Drive in Tallahassee. The cause of death was hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. As anyone can imagine, our beloved Tom is irreplaceable and terribly missed by his family and friends.

Jessamyn Iselin

Jessamyn Iselin

Jessamyn Iselin - Stories of the Heart

Logan Janik

Logan Janik

Janik Logan - Stories of the Heart

Logan was an avid outdoors man and an exceptional lacrosse player. While at a friend’s birthday party his canoe tipped over, which caused him to panic and swim at a very fast pace. He was seen bobbing in the water and was pulled out by an 11-year-old girl. Bystanders were trying to revive him when paramedics arrived and discovered he was in sudden cardiac arrest. Logan was pronounced dead at the hospital due to drowning caused by cardiomegaly and an arrhythmia that stopped his heart. He was 17 years old.

Jordan Johnson

Jordan Johnson

Jordan Johnson - Stories of the Heart

Jordan, age 15, was sleeping when he suffered SCA and died on November 25, 2006. The autopsy determined that the cause of death was Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). Jordan’s yearly sports physicals had never shown any signs of HCM.

Ashley Jolly

Ashley Jolly

Ashley Jolly - Stories of the Heart

Darius Jones

Darius Jones

Darius Jones - Stories of the Heart

Darius, age 15, suffered SCA while competing in a youth basketball game on October 11, 2009. Precious minutes ticked away and Darius died because there was no AED on site

Graeme Jones

Graeme Jones

Graeme Jones - Stories of the Heart

Michael Jones

Michael Jones

Michael Jones - Stories of the Heart

Michael, age 16, collapsed during a travel team soccer practice.  One of his coaches described Michael as acting strange and with weird expression in his face.  Another coach performed CPR until EMS arrived.  He was transported to the hospital where he died.  The underlying condition that led to his cardiac arrest is unknown.

Michael Abt, Jr.

Michael Abt, Jr.

Michael Jr Abt - Stories of the Heart

Michael, age 12, collapsed on March 10, 2006, while playing capture-the-flag at school in PE class. CPR was performed. The school had an AED, but it was forgotten until it was too late to save Michael.

Paul Simmons, Jr.

Paul Simmons, Jr.

Paul Simmons Jr. - Stories of the Heart

Paul, age 17, collapsed while playing basketball during the senior class All Night Shut-In event at his high school. The cause of death was Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. Paul was captain of the varsity basketball team and had no prior signs or symptoms of a heart condition.

Eddie Barnett, Jr.

Eddie Barnett, Jr.

Eddie Barnett Jr. - Stories of the Heart

Shawn Cannon, Jr.

Shawn Cannon, Jr.

Cannon Shawn Jr e1672761298884 - Stories of the Heart

Lil Shawn Jr. was a busy, kind, and full of life 7-year-old who loved Spiderman; he had an infectious smile that lit up every room. He had a sense of humor that made everyone laugh and an imagination that was full of excitement. On May 27, 2022, he was found unresponsive on the couch, 911 was called and CPR was administered. He was transported to the local hospital where they were able to get a pulse and was medi-flighted to UCDavis where he passed away 2 days later with the diagnosis of Brugada Syndrome.

Matthew Mangine, Jr.

Matthew Mangine, Jr.

Matthew Mangine Jr. soccer pic - Stories of the Heart

Matthew, 16, collapsed during soccer practice at school on June 16, 2020. An automated external defibrillator was not used or brought to the scene until the EMTs arrived, even though the school’s emergency action plan stated that several AEDs were on site.

Cameron Juniel

Cameron Juniel

Juniel Cameron basketball - Stories of the Heart

Cameron, age 20, suffered sudden cardiac arrest after playing basketball with friends at a local gym. Attempts to save Cameron with CPR and AED use were unsuccessful. The cause of Cameron’s cardiac arrest was Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.

Christopher Kanervisto

Christopher Kanervisto

Christopher Kanervisto - Stories of the Heart

Christopher, age 19, was very active in sports, including golf, skiing and mountain biking. He had always been healthy and his doctor visits mainly consisted of well checkups. After receiving the H1N1 vaccine, Christopher exhibited flu-like symptoms that seemed to go away. He passed away in his sleep on November 20, 2009, one month after receiving the vaccine. The cause of Christopher’s death was viral myocarditis.

Sarah Katz

Sarah Katz

Katz Sarah - Stories of the Heart

Sarah was diagnosed with Long QT syndrome at age 5 after she had a seizure in the middle of a swimming lesson, Sarah was placed on beta blockers and had continued clean bills of health. That’s why her family was in total shock when they lost her at age 21 to sudden cardiac arrest. Very aware of her condition, Sarah had always been very responsible with her heart health. She was a junior at the University of Pennsylvania and had been involved in AED training and teaching CPR since she was in elementary school, and was in the process of bringing CPR training to Penn. Her school friends carried on her efforts and had a successful CPR certification class.

Adam Keenan

Adam Keenan

Adam Keenan - Stories of the Heart

Adam, age 20, suffered cardiac arrest while practicing baseball. The cause of death was an undiagnosed heart condition called Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC).

Antwoine Key

Antwoine Key

Antwoine Key - Stories of the Heart

Maxwell King

Maxwell King

Maxwell King - Stories of the Heart

Charlie Kontos

Charlie Kontos

Charlie Kontos - Stories of the Heart

August Koontz

August Koontz

August Koontz - Stories of the Heart

August, a multi-sport athlete died in his sleep at age 18 due to an undiagnosed heart condition known as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.

Alec Kornet

Alec Kornet

Alec Kornet e1601403845796 - Stories of the Heart

Alec, age 17, was an honor roll student, band member and three-sport athlete. He collapsed after complaining of feeling lightheaded during hockey practice. CPR was administered immediately and by the time the AED was retrieved paramedics had arrived. Alec had no prior symptoms or a known heart condition. The cause of death was Myocarditis. Postmortem genetic testing of Alec’s tissues was negative. His brothers had a full cardiac work.

Sara Krauss

Sara Krauss

Sara Krauss - Stories of the Heart

Matthew Krug

Matthew Krug

Matthew Krug - Stories of the Heart

Matthew suffered a cardiac arrest two days after his 16th birthday while playing basketball. He received CPR and three AED shocks before heart rhythm returned, but remained in a coma for 12 days before passing away on July 18, 2001. He was an active swimmer and roller hockey player. Cause of death was undetected Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.

Beth Kunce

Beth Kunce

IMG 0285 - Stories of the Heart

In her 22 short years, Beth made an impact on every person who crossed her path. She always wanted everyone to be included in a positive way. Her fun-loving attitude expanded well beyond her friends and family. She was invested in helping others over the course of her entire life. Whether she was busy entertaining the kids who frequently requested her as a babysitter, teaching sports camps and swimming lessons at the Bartlett Park District, assisting disabled women maintain their independence in a group home, or chaperoning a 22-year-old with Down Syndrome to a WWE wrestling match, she knew how to effectively interact with people of all ages and abilities. She made a significant difference in these and countless other lives.

Andrew Lamphere

Andrew Lamphere

Andrew Lamphere - Stories of the Heart

Andrew, age 11, was at football practice when he experienced difficulty breathing. He had been diagnosed with asthma, so he thought he was having an asthma attack. Before he could get his inhaler, he collapsed in his coaches arms. He ended up going into cardiac arrest. The medics arrived and were unable to revive him. The next day an autopsy concluded his cause of death was Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.

Kristoffer Larsen

Kristoffer Larsen

Kristoffer Larsen - Stories of the Heart

Kristoffer, age 22, suffered a sudden cardiac death on May 27th 2016 while visiting his grandparents in Norway. He was a healthy and active young man that cared greatly for his siblings, family, friends and people around him. Kristoffer was an active cross country and long distance track runner through high school and early college years. He had not had any previous indications or prior history of heart problems. Kristoffer cause of death was cardiomyopathy.

Taylor Layman

Taylor Layman

Taylor Layman - Stories of the Heart

Taylor was at a Birthday party at a Gymnastics place. Taylor was on the rock wall, at the top, when she appeared to go limp. She was lowered to the ground and was unconscious and no pulse. CPR was performed at the gym but there was no defibrillator on site. Ambulance arrived and Taylor was transported to the hospital where she was shocked several times. They worked on Taylor for a long time but sadly she passed away in the emergency room. I was at the Birthday party with Taylor and by her side at the emergency room. Taylor was an active 8-year-old and played soccer with no known heart problems.

Tommy Leek

Tommy Leek

Tommy Leek - Stories of the Heart

Curtis LeMair

Curtis LeMair

LeMair Curtis e1562003038971 - Stories of the Heart

Curtis, 18, was a member of the Northern State University (NSU) wrestling team,  a Division II NCAA sport.  After practice on October 17, 2018, Curtis went back to his dorm at NSU, ate, did homework and then went to sleep. He never woke up.

Curtis had no symptoms of a heart condition.  He had a sports physical just weeks before his untimely death and was cleared.  The cause of death was an enlarged heart.

 

Adam Lemel

Adam Lemel

Adam Lemel - Stories of the Heart

Adam was playing basketball for his high school team on January 22, 1999. He walked into the huddle, collapsed and died. Cause of the fatal sudden cardiac arrest was found to be Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia (ARVD).

Kai Lermer

Kai Lermer

Lermer Kai - Stories of the Heart

A 16-year-old tri-athlete honor student, Kai collapsed at the park playing basketball with friends. Though he never showed any signs of having a heart condition, he had undetected Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. A true friend and inspiration to others who was looking forward to his high school prom, Kai’s life is now celebrated through the efforts of the Kai Lermer Memorial Fund to prevent another family from suffering the loss of a child to SCA.

Robbie Levine

Robbie Levine

Robbie Levine - Stories of the Heart

Andrew Lewis

Andrew Lewis

Andrew Lewis - Stories of the Heart

Andrew, age 15, was playing baseball when he held his head and told another player that he didn’t feel well. Shortly thereafter Andrew collapsed in cardiac arrest. He had no symptoms and rarely got sick. The cause of death was viral myocarditis and bicuspid valve.

Annie Liberati

Annie Liberati

Annie Liberati - Stories of the Heart

Chase Lightfoot

Chase Lightfoot

Lightfoot Chase scaled e1577988261209 - Stories of the Heart

Chase was a healthy 16-year-old high school senior with no heart issues, although he was diagnosed with asthma. Because he was large for his age with an elevated blood pressure, his doctor recommended he get a series of echoes, which failed to detect any abnormalities. On September 9, 2016, Chase suffered cardiac arrest at a football game, witnessed by his mom. CPR was administered and EMS arrived in minutes, but he did not survive. The cause of death was right anomalous coronary artery.

Nicholas Lindsay

Nicholas Lindsay

Nicholas Lindsay - Stories of the Heart

Brian Locklear

Brian Locklear

Brian Locklear - Stories of the Heart

Brian, age 14, was an A student, played the cello in his middle school orchestra, and enjoyed internet computer games. Brian, his sister, and his mom were diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. Then 9 months later, when his mom and sister were home, Brian went into the bathroom to take a shower and went into cardiac arrest, before he could even turn the water on. His mom found him approximately 5 minutes later, started CPR, and called 911. But it was too late. His mother and sister now have implanted defibrillators.

Sandy Loftus

Sandy Loftus

Sandy Loftus - Stories of the Heart

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.