This has been the best decision that I have ever made in regards to student heath!!! Working with Who We Play For has been an incredible experience. They are able to work with your schedule and demands of accomplishing your goals. I've never been more impressed with the work that Evan does for the organization. He has been an awesome asset to work with.
When we lost Zac last year to SCA we were devastated and confused. How could a life so precious end so suddenly? Last week we were able to offer ECG tests for the kids from the Seahawks where Zac was a player. If we have to mourn the loss then we will do anything we can to prevent another tragedy. Thank you to the wonderful people from Who We Play For.
Jonathan and I wanted to personally let you know how THANKFUL we are to Athletic Trainer Joe Manning, THS, WHO WE PLAY FOR & the donors that made the HEART SCREENING a possibility at the Sports Physical May 16 at Titusville High School. It LITERALLY saved our sons life!
During the school physical we took the opportunity to have the free heart screening done as well. A few days later I got a call from Joe letting me know James’s screening was flagged as high risk. Joe explained it to me and worked hard all weekend to get more information, a copy of the screening and even helped me line up an appointment with a cardiologist. We took our son into a cardiologist for further testing and he has been diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. And although we are terribly disappointed that this has been his diagnosis....because honestly my son LOVES basketball and was so looking forward to starting summer workouts with the team....we are FOREVER GRATEFUL that WHO WE PLAY FOR, and Joe made sure they were there to catch this.
He has zero signs and symptoms, which is typically the case. After several test, including a stress test it is clear that this has SAVED HIS LIFE!! This is the type of thing where an athlete dies unexpectedly on the field or court with no warning. I am so thankful I am talking to cardiologist instead of the funeral home. Which is the reality of all of this. We are working alongside them to gather all the pieces and figure out how to treat & manage this. Life looks a lot different this summer but they key word is LIFE! We cannot thank our trainer Joe, Who We Play For, the donors and our school enough!!!!PLEASE CONTINUE TO MAKE THIS AVAILABLE FOR ALL STUDENT ATHLETES! I cannot imagine what could have happened if it had not been for this screening. IT IS WORTH EVERY PENNY SPENT....it saved our son and I know it can save other students lives as well!
Doctors said he had a 50% chance of making it. Thank goodness, he was on the right side of the 50. He woke up a few days later and they called us on our cell phones that he was just starting to wake up. We could not be there because of COVID restrictions all night. As soon as we arrived, he recognized me and all he could hear from the nurses and doctors was he must have had good CPR. That was all they said, and yes he did, because he is here today.
And because somebody was forced to take CPR for their job, this gentleman had just taken CPR and he watched my daughter die on the ground and he knew what to do. Because he took CPR. He did chest compressions and they used an AED on my daughter 10 minutes before the ambulance got there. My daughter had life.
During children’s years in school, they are taught about stop, drop and roll in the event of a fire. Just say no to drugs, don't drink and drive. Most deaths from sudden cardiac arrest can be prevented with rapid response and treatment. Sadly, as it was stated before, the sudden cardiac arrest survival rate has remained stagnant for over three decades, because people aren't prepared to save a life.
Other than the obvious that we are blessed to still have our daughter with us, these four young ladies, what they would be carrying with them for the rest of their life had my daughter not survived, had she died, and they knew there was something they could have done to save her, but they couldn’t because they didn’t know how to, that sticks with me. And my son is a football player. He was out on the football field in practice up at school and they called him in when something happened to my daughter. He saw them perform CPR on her. He saw them put the AED on her and shock her heart back, something that a sibling shouldn’t have to see another sibling go through, and he will carry that vision with him for the rest of his life.
I am only one. I'm only one of 5% that survive an outside of hospital cardiac event. It's a miracle I am here today. Sudden cardiac arrest strikes and kills 1000 people a day. Older younger, it doesn't matter, it doesn't discriminate. Twenty kids are estimated to die in one day from sudden cardiac arrest on our ball fields, basketball courts, soccer field football fields. Sudden cardiac arrest happened to me, it can happen to you.
CPR and an AED can give a student a chance to live, and our organization, Who We Play For, can tell you many, many more stories of lives saved. I can’t tell you how devastating it was to my school of over 1,300 students the day Rafe died. I would not wish that situation on any principal to deal with. Rafe was an IB student, athlete, well liked by all and had a bright future ahead of him. Students, faculty and the community bonded to help the family during their time of grief. And as in many tragic situations, good has come from Rafe’s death. A group of Rafe’s soccer teammates formed Who We Play For to bring awareness of hidden heart diseases that can be detected by simple EKGs. If Rafe had had an EKG as a part of his sports physical, his heart disease would have been detected.