Sudden Cardiac Arrest, or SCA is a condition, where the heart stops beating. Some people survive, most don't. A lot of us think that only adults can suffer from SCA, but children, teens, even babies, can die from it.
Darren and Phyllis Sudman had the perfect family life. But it all came to a halt when their 3 month-old son, Simon, was found dead in his crib. The Sudman's pediatrician thought it was something more than Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and recommended some tests. "Go get your hearts checked because babies don't die. It's just not supposed to happen," said Darren Sudman. What they found was shocking. Phyllis was diagnosed with a rare heart problem. Although she had had no symptoms, it was hereditary and was passed to Simon. If he had been screened as a newborn, he could have been saved. "Once I was diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome, it can easily be treated," said Phyllis Sudman.
So in honor of their son, the Sudmans started Simon's Fund, an organization that provides free heart screenings to children. Doctors say those tests are important because sudden cardiac arrest is the number one killer of student athletes and is responsible for up to 15% of all sudden infant deaths. "Probably 20% of the children we see in the newborn period will have some irregularity of the heart," said Dr. Steven Shapiro. Simon's fund has provided screenings for more than 55-hundred children, one percent of them had some sort of defect.
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