The organization raises awareness of the main causes of sudden cardiac death

Each year in the United States, approximately 4,000 children and young adults die suddenly and unexpectedly from cardiac arrhythmias, but many are unaware of the causes, warning signs and life-saving treatment options.

From childhood to early adulthood, Austin Le Blanc had been active and, to all appearances, in good health.

“He had been playing football since he was 5 and he had heart palpitations while he was on the pitch and his coach was listening to his heart and she was like, ‘You’re just anxious, you’re fine, I don’t. feel like you’ve got something, you’re fine,” her mother, Carolyn Bruton, said.

But shortly after graduating from college, Le Blanc passed out while training.

He was rushed to hospital where he was diagnosed with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy.

“In a way it was a relief because I always knew there was something wrong and it just kept getting worse over time,” Le Blanc said.

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Le Blanc’s condition was one of many that fall into the category of sudden arrhythmia death syndromes, which are often genetic in nature.

“Often these people wander around not knowing something is wrong because most feel completely normal,” said Dr. Susan Etheridge of the University of Utah School of Medicine and executive director of the Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes (SADS) Foundation.

Warning signs may include exercise-related chest pain or shortness of breath, fainting or seizures during exertion, and a family history of unexpected and unexplained death before age 40.

“Drowning, especially in someone who shouldn’t drown like a 15-year-old, can also be a sign of arrhythmic sudden death or aborted sudden death,” Etheridge said.

Bruton actually carries the gene for her son’s condition but shows no signs of it herself.

Following an ablation to reset his irregular heartbeat, Le Blanc now lives with an implantable defibrillator and takes medication every day.

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“We always try to keep our heads up and at least now we know what’s going on and we can try to deal with it because when you’re fighting an enemy you can’t see it’s a lot harder,” he said. -he declares.

Sudden arrhythmia death syndrome progresses differently in all people, but Le Blanc is being closely monitored for any changes that may require further intervention.

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