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.

Kieran Popp

Kieran Popp

Kieran Popp e1547429818415 - Stories of the Heart

A high school varsity team wrestler in 2009, Kieran was involved in a mysterious auto accident on Christmas Day that left his left leg crushed. No cause was found for the accident. He was transported by Care Flight and spent weeks in the ICU with no revelation about a heart condition, though Kieran’s mother insisted something was wrong. Kieran worked hard to walk again by Senior Night, which he did to a standing ovation. He graduated and went on with his life until September 3, 2015, when he passed away from sudden cardiac arrest due to Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. He was only 23 years old. Until the day he died, his heart condition remained undiagnosed.

Ryan Powell

Ryan Powell

Ryan Powell - Stories of the Heart

Michael "Mikey" Pratt

Michael "Mikey" Pratt

Michael Mikey Pratt e1578696115132 - Stories of the Heart

Mikey, age 11, collapsed at the finish line of a charity run in December 2013. A nurse who was watching the race performed CPR while 911 was called. CPR was performed for nearly three hours. Mikey was airlifted to the hospital, where he was placed on life support. He was declared brain dead the following morning. The cause of Mikey’s death was right coronary artery anomaly. An electrocardiogram 2 years prior did not detect this, although Mikey was having symptoms.

Emilie Puricelli

Emilie Puricelli

Emilie Puricelli - Stories of the Heart

Emilie had a history of fainting. During exercise or after ingesting any amount of caffeine, she would tell her mother that her heart felt like “it’s going crazy.” Emilie had been worked up by two different adult cardiologists in eighth and ninth grade. She died suddenly in her sleep at the age of 22, on August 30, 1997. The same Holter test that was read as normal while she was alive was found to be abnormal by an expert cardiology researcher after her death. Emilie had some classic symptoms, but still the diagnosis was missed. Her family now knows through genetic testing of parents and siblings that it was from Long QT Syndrome.

Robert Regalado

Robert Regalado

Robert Regalado - Stories of the Heart

Robert, age 15, died on April 30, 2009. He came home from baseball practice and complained of a headache. He took a couple of Advil and laid down. Robert’s brother went to check on him about 20 minutes later and found him unconscious. He started CPR and called 911. The paramedics were on scene within 5 minutes of the call; resuscitation attempts were unsuccessful. After 4½ months, the coroner’s office finally ruled the cause of death as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. Robert had never shown any symptoms of a heart problem. Robert had been active in sports since age 6.

Liam Regensburg

Liam Regensburg

Liam Regensburg - Stories of the Heart

Marc Allen Richard

Marc Allen Richard

Marc Allen Richard - Stories of the Heart

Marc Allen, age 29, had been healthy all his life. He was an athlete all through school and college, excelling in several sports. He had continued his love for healthy habits and exercise, but succumbed without warning to sudden cardiac arrest on August 12, 2007. Marc Allen had no prior symptoms and was never screened for a heart condition.

Travis Roy

Travis Roy

Travis Roy - Stories of the Heart

On May 20, 2005 Travis was three weeks away from graduation from the 8th grade when he collapsed at his middle school. He had suffered a Sudden Cardiac Arrest caused by a previously undiagnosed heart condition called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. He was taken to Children’s Hospital in San Diego by helicopter. Travis spent a total of four weeks in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. An MRI was taken to ascertain the extent of the damage to his brain. The MRI revealed massive brain cell death – Travis had gone 23 minutes without circulation. He was blind, he was completely paralyzed, he could not speak and he could not chew or swallow. Travis died a week later on June 25, 2005.

Brock Ruether

Brock Ruether

Brock Ruether - Stories of the Heart

Brock, age 16, collapsed and died of SCA at the first volleyball practice of the season. Although an AED was available, it was placed beside him but not used. The 911 dispatch operator told them to get it in case it was needed later. Brock died on the gym floor, surrounded by classmates, school faculty and staff.

Matthew Rush

Matthew Rush

Matthew Rush - Stories of the Heart

Matthew, age 24, suffered sudden cardiac arrest due to Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. He was followed by a cardiologist since birth but had no symptoms.

Matt Ryan

Matt Ryan

Ryan Matt - Stories of the Heart

Matt died from sudden cardiac arrest 2 weeks after his 13th birthday. He was a kind and loving boy who was always smiling. Matt had two younger brothers who sadly witnessed his death. He played youth baseball, basketball, and soccer. His favorite teams were the Chicago Cubs, Bears and Indiana Pacers. Matt’s classmates planted a tree w/a plaque at the school playground in his memory. His basketball jersey was retired and is hanging in the hall at his grade school. He was so dearly loved, and we miss him every day.

Justin Saccone

Justin Saccone

Justin Saccone - Stories of the Heart

On Sept. 21, 2003, 15-year-old Justin, was playing baseball when he was hit in the chest by a wild pitch. The impact of the pitch caused Justin to go into Commotio Cordis, and he collapsed on the field. Justin never regained consciousness.

Jose Santos

Jose Santos

Jose Santos - Stories of the Heart

Jose went to sleep on April 14, 2002, and never woke up. He was 29 years old. Eight months later, the medical examiner concluded that Jose had died of an Acute Cardiac Dysrhythmia. His heart just stopped beating while he was asleep.

Brock Saparto

Brock Saparto

Saparto Brock e1671030784347 - Stories of the Heart

Brock was loving son, brother and friend, as well as a talented athlete who played college baseball. Working as a millwright in the field of wind and energy, he had recently received journeyman status at age 23. In February of 2021 he was visiting his girlfriend and collapsed in the presence of 12 young adults. CPR was initiated immediately and EMS dispatched but Brock was lost. No AED was available. It was determined he had an enlarged heart and no genetic markers nor family history.

Louis Savino

Louis Savino

Louis Savino - Stories of the Heart

Louis, age 15, died on October 12, 2000, during soccer practice. Cause of death was undetected Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM).

Sara Schacht

Sara Schacht

Sara Schacht - Stories of the Heart

Sara was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy in November, 2001. Doctors told her she would live a long life but perhaps need a transplant in the future. She died on January 26, 2003, while watching a video after a day of college classes.

Paul Schafer

Paul Schafer

Paul Schafer - Stories of the Heart

Cody Schmidt

Cody Schmidt

Cody Schmidt - Stories of the Heart

Grant Schoen

Grant Schoen

Grant Schoen - Stories of the Heart

Grant, age 10, played soccer, baseball and wrestling, but loved all sports. He suffered cardiac arrest in his sleep on October 17, 2013 after laying down for an afternoon nap. The night before he complained of a headache and had a low grade fever. The underlying cause of death remains unknown.

Patrick Schoonover

Patrick Schoonover

Patrick Schoonover - Stories of the Heart

Patrick, age 14, was playing in a hockey tournament when he collapsed on the ice after scoring the game’s first goal. First responders were unable to revive him. It was later determined Patrick had numerous heart defects that caused his early death.

Zachary Schrah

Zachary Schrah

Zachary Schrah - Stories of the Heart

On April 2, 2009, 16-year-old Zachary died just after a typical football workout. Zac was the picture of health…a varsity football player with no personal or family history of cardiac problems. The underlying cause of death was Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.

Timothy Scott

Timothy Scott

Timothy Scott - Stories of the Heart

Timothy, age 16, was an avid football player. He passed away in his sleep on December 17, 2011. The underlying condition that caused Timonthy’s sudden cardiac death is unknown.

Connor Scott

Connor Scott

Connor Scott - Stories of the Heart

Kaitlin Seidel

Kaitlin Seidel

Kaitlin Seidel - Stories of the Heart

On July 30, 2006, 16-year-old Kaitlin collapsed while sitting at a restaurant with friends. Having been an athlete her entire life and with absolutely no symptoms, she had never had an EKG or echocardiogram. ARVC was found to be the cause of her sudden death. After testing, her brother, who plays ice hockey, was also found to have a heart abnormality.

Adam Seymour

Adam Seymour

Adam Seymour - Stories of the Heart

Adam Seymour, age 18, collapsed while competing in a pre-season training run with his college soccer team. He subsequently died of SCA a few days later.

Waseeq Shahid

Waseeq Shahid

Shahid Waseeq - Stories of the Heart

Waseeq, age 15, was at his high school basketball tryouts on October 19, 2009. Six minutes into the tryouts, Waseeq suddenly collapsed. CPR was administered immediately and paramedics arrived within six minutes and transported him to the hospital just across the street. He was pronounced dead at the hospital and the cause was an undetected Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. Waseeq showed no signs or symptoms of a heart condition. A week prior to his death, Waseeq had a pre-participation physical evaluation (PPE) and was cleared to play although no heart screening was performed.

Ashlyn Shoemaker

Ashlyn Shoemaker

Ashlyn Shoemaker - Stories of the Heart

Aidan Silva

Aidan Silva

Aidan Silva - Stories of the Heart

Aidan, age 7, was a happy and seemingly healthy boy when he suddenly collapsed and died on September 4, 2010. He had no symptoms of a heart condition and his family has no prior history of heart disease. The underlying cause of Aidan’s sudden cardiac death is unknown.

Robbie Simpson

Robbie Simpson

Robbie Simpson - Stories of the Heart

Victor Sims

Victor Sims

Victor Sims - Stories of the Heart

Thomas Noah Smith

Thomas Noah Smith

Thomas Noah Smith - Stories of the Heart

Thomas, age 17, had just finished his mid-terms for his senior year in high school. He came home from a friend’s house and said he could feel his heart racing. He instantly collapsed. His parents performed CPR on him and paramedics arrived within minutes. Thomas never regained consciousness. The cause of death was Cardiomegaly (enlarged heart).

Jenny Snyder

Jenny Snyder

Jenny Snyder - Stories of the Heart

Jenny, age 17, collapsed while playing soccer on August 21, 2008. The cause of her cardiac arrest was an undiagnosed congenital heart defect known as anomalous coronary artery.

Kurtis Sparovich

Kurtis Sparovich

Kurtis Sparovich - Stories of the Heart

Kurtis, age 19, felt dizzy and collapsed while playing soccer with his brother and friends. His bother performed CPR until the EMTs arrived. They used an AED and rushed him to the hospital. Kurtis died from an undiagnosed congenital heart anomaly. He had no prior symptoms of a heart condition.

Matthew J. Stagliano

Matthew J. Stagliano

Matthew J. Stagliano - Stories of the Heart

Matt, age 16, was an avid pilot , an A+ student and a Cadet Staff Sergeant in Civil Air Patrol. He loved aviation and aspired to go to the Air Force Academy. For his high school homecoming game, Matt did a flyover as his team ran off the field.  After landing his aircraft, he went home and laid down to take a nap and suffered an SCA.  CPR and an AED were unable to revive him.  The cause of death was undetected Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.

 

Kayla Stanford

Kayla Stanford

Kayla Stanford - Stories of the Heart

Kayla, age 12, attended track practice on March 29, 2006, where she ran two miles. She returned to the school and asked to go to the restroom, where she collapsed. Paramedics used a defibrillator upon arriving, but Kayla didn’t survive. After her death, the family learned that Kayla had been born with an anomalous coronary artery.

Marcus Steele

Marcus Steele

Marcus Steele - Stories of the Heart

Tyler Stephan

Tyler Stephan

Tyler Stephan 2020 - Stories of the Heart

Tyler, age 18, had no previous symptoms. Was 6 weeks into his freshman year at college working part time at Purdue. His roommate also worked there and saw Tyler at 10:30 am when he left for class and made plans to meet up for lunch. Tyler stayed to finish up a job. Tyler’s last text to friends was about that same time…the only odd thing was he mentioned being really tired (but what college student isn’t?). 20 minutes later a coworker found Tyler sitting on the ground, leaned against a car. He tried CPR and paramedics applied an AED, but he was gone. Coroner report said his main coronary artery was 75% blocked and the other 20%, causing spontaneous ventricular fibrillation.

Cody Stephens

Cody Stephens

Cody Stephens - Stories of the Heart

Cody, age 18, was a senior and offensive lineman for his high school football team. He was awarded a college football scholarship. Cody had been training for college football, came home to take a nap, but never woke up. According to autopsy results the cause of death was Idiopathic Left Ventricular Hypertrophy. Postmortem genetic testing was unable to confirm a diagnosis.

Craig Stille

Craig Stille

Craig Stille - Stories of the Heart

Brian Stoff

Brian Stoff

Brian Stoff - Stories of the Heart

Brian, age 24, was adopted at birth.  His adoptive parents did not get a complete family medical history from the birth parents.  Brian played varsity high school soccer. He went on to college and after graduating continued to be active in lacrosse, snowboarding and basketball. He never experienced any symptoms of a heart condition. Brian died in his sleep from Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.

 

Chip Denney Stoskopf

Chip Denney Stoskopf

Stoskopf Chip e1671030954495 - Stories of the Heart

Chip was on his high school junior varsity football team. In October 1992, he took his place on the line of scrimmage.  The ball was snapped, a whistle blew and Chip collapsed on the field before he even had a chance to play. He was only 14 years-old. The underlying cause of his cardiac arrest is unknown.

Andrew Stowell

Andrew Stowell

Andrew Stowell - Stories of the Heart

Andrew was 26 when he suddenly died of undiagnosed Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy while running on the treadmill at his gym.  Paramedics administered CPR as did the ER staff, for over an hour, but were never able to get a pulse. His parents were with him in the ER when the physicians recommended that they give them the order to stop resuscitation efforts.

Andrew graduated from Villanova University in 2011 with a B.S.N. while working part-time as an EMT and a volunteer firefighter in Moorestown, NJ.  At the time of his death, Andrew was working as an ER/Trauma nurse and was engaged to his longtime girlfriend. They were to have been married just seven weeks after his death. Andrew was a member of his local Cross Fit, a skydiver, mountain climber (reached the summit of Mt. Washington in January 2010), scuba diver, and runner. All in all, he was very active and physically fit.  Andrew had no symptoms of cardiac problems.

Jordan Street

Jordan Street

Jordan Street - Stories of the Heart

Shauna Stuewe

Shauna Stuewe

Shauna Stuewe - Stories of the Heart

Shauna died unexpectedly at age 14. Two years earlier, she had almost drowned at summer camp. CPR was performed and they were able to get her heart going again. She spent the night in the hospital, but the cause was not determined. She then went to a pediatric cardiologist who did an EKG, Holter monitor and echocardiogram. The cardiologist cleared Shauna, saying that no further cardiac evaluation was necessary.

Shauna seemed fine until February 15, 2006, when she died at cheer practice. After successfully performing a routine stunt, she complained of feeling dizzy and collapsed. CPR was performed. They called for the school’s defibrillator, but the defibrillator was on the other side of campus, so it was not used immediately. The cause of Shauna’s death was Catecholaminergic Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia (CPVT).

Nicole Suchowiecky

Nicole Suchowiecky

Nicole Suchowiecky - Stories of the Heart

Simon Sudman

Simon Sudman

Simon Sudman - Stories of the Heart

Simon was 96 days old. He went down for a nap after dinner like he always did and never woke up. It was most likely Long QT Syndrome (LQTS).  After Simon’s death his mom was diagnosed with LQTS.

Shane Tanzosh

Shane Tanzosh

Shane Tanzosh - Stories of the Heart

Shane was a life-long athlete; he mainly played basketball since he was five years old. Later in life, he experienced a racing heart and had been tested with an electrocardiogram and echocardiogram tests, both of which came up normal. Working out regularly to achieve a healthy lifestyle, Shane attended rigorous cardio classes, such as Cross Fit, all while continuing to have some irregular heartbeats (unaware of the severity of his condition). Shane passed away in his sleep at age 26.  The cause of Shane’s cardiac arrest was Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC).

Kyle Taylor

Kyle Taylor

Sarmento Kyle - Stories of the Heart

Kyle was a healthy and active college student. He suffered cardiac arrest while in the restroom at a friend’s house.  He was rushed to the hospital where died two days later due to his brain going without oxygen for too long. Kyle did not have any known heart condition. He was only 18 years old.

 

Grayson Temple

Grayson Temple

Temple Grayson - Stories of the Heart

Six weeks prior to Grayson’s death, his school nurse reported he had a fast pulse, low blood pressure and was feeling dizzy. In the coming weeks he was fatigued, not sleeping well and had what appeared to be a stomach bug. An at-home blood pressure check showed tachycardia and his heartbeat was extremely irregular. A referral to a pediatric cardiologist revealed an atrial flutter, but a few days following the diagnosis Grayson fainted. As he was getting a head CT he coded and passed away at just 16 years old.  Grayson’s grandfather died of “heart failure” at age 30, and genetic testing has since indicated Grayson was predisposed to cardiac arrhythmia. The Grayson Temple Act now requires SCA prevention education in Louisiana high schools.

Josh "Moose" Thibodeau

Josh "Moose" Thibodeau

Josh Moose Thibodeau - Stories of the Heart

Josh, age 12, collapsed at the beginning of a soccer camp, while waiting in line to do a low-speed drill. Previously, Josh experienced some shortness of breath during exercise and was evaluated for exercise-induced asthma. Josh’s four siblings were screened for heart conditions and genetic testing was done on his immediate family. Josh’s younger brother, Adam (age 9) was found to have 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.