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Broken Hearts: Sudden Cardiac Arrest In Young Athletes
Broken Hearts: Sudden Cardiac Arrest In Young Athletes

AIR DATE: July 1, 2013

Every year, nearly 2,000 young athletes in the U.S. suffer sudden cardiac arrest, and most of them die. Melanie Afromsky's son, Adam, collapsed during a soccer game in Las Vegas on Mothers' Day 2012. He survived his sudden cardiac arrest. Now Melanie Afrmonsky, athletic trainers and doctors are working to identify and treat the condition before it kills.


Melanie Afromsky, Founder, Adam's Heart

Dr. Jonathan Drezner, Professor of Family Medicine, University of Washington

Jim Porter, licensed athletic trainer, Coordinator of Athletic Training Services for Clark County School District

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    . The infection theory doctor won out even though the camera probe they had showed no sign of infection. However, there was some inexplicable shadowing on very small parts of the heart. So my son then underwent open heart surgery. He needed to have two valves repaired and one valve replaced. More devastating he was diagnosed with lupus of the kidneys. The doctors could not assure me that this was not medically induced by the medicines that had been given since his entry in the hospital. My son remained in the hospital for 45 days including ICU. He was released and finally came home and we spent our last Christmas together. On New Years day while getting out of the shower my son had a heart attack. My neighbor who was a nurse administered CPR. My son never revived. The paramedics arrived almost 20 minutes later. No attempt was made to revive him nor was a difibulator used. In all likelihood my son needed an implanted difibulator. So little was understood even a short 12 years ago. The first doctor didnt even recognize that my son in fact had congestive heart failure when he went to see him. Due to his young age, prior history and seemingly strong relatively healthy body a
    Vicenta MontoyaJul 1, 2013 13:11:18 PM
    My son who was always fair-skinned began have a very white, pasty look. I took him to another doctor. After checking my son with a stethoscope his words to me were  madam this young man is bleeding inside , his heart is racing like a racehorse and it sounds like it is ready to burst. You need to go to the emergency room of the hospital and get him admitted Immediately. I went directly to emergency. As soon as the nurse took his blood pressure he was immediately processed for admission. From the time I brought him in and the initiation of the paper work no more than 10 minutes had passed. My son was a medical mystery . He had no prior history of heart problems. He never had rheumatic fever, no untreated infection; there was no family history of heart problems. For each doctor he had there was a different theory of what was the underlying cause.
    Vicenta MontoyaJul 1, 2013 13:09:38 PM
    Twelve years ago on New Years day 2001 My son died from sudden cardiac arrest. Listening to your program just devastated me.It brought back such tragic memories. In September 2000 my 6'+ strong, healthy looking son started complaining of being tired and run down. One day walking to school he fell to the ground because he felt so weak. Then he started having a cough that just wouldn't go away. I took him to the doctor and the doctor checked him for bronchitis. I commented on his elevated blood pressure and I mentioned that his blood pressure was always a little high even before his was born. In fact just minutes before he was born the nurse said I was going to have a girl because the heart beat was so high. That is very common for girl babies in the womb. The doctor shrugged off the high blood pressure as a symptom due to dehydration. He prescribed antibiotics. My son did not get better.
    Vicenta MontoyaJul 1, 2013 13:07:33 PM
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