One Screening - Family Saved
The news of her daughter’s diagnosis and how it would impact her life was just setting in when Regina learned her life was about to change.
Regina’s daughter, a successful multi-sport high school athlete, took advantage of a free heart screening at her school and learned that she had Long QT syndrome. After consultation with a cardiologist and extensive genetic testing, Regina learned that she and her son shared the same diagnosis. Completely asymptomatic, the dizzying amount of information regarding physical restrictions and required medications was overwhelming and a little scary at first. But, as the family learned about the shared condition and accepted it, they realized that 3 lives had been saved by that one screening – their family had been given a chance to avert tragedy. They decided to give back and volunteer for the foundation that had given them this life-saving gift and have continued to support sudden cardiac arrest education and prevention efforts ever since. Regina states: “I am so very thankful for the opportunity for my children to receive a heart screening. What we learned about our family’s heart condition from that screening saved my family.”
A saved life, serving and saving others
At only 10 years old, Bennett had a busy life playing soccer and baseball and generally enjoying his childhood. Much of that came to a screeching halt as he learned that he had a lifetime heart condition, Long QT syndrome, like his older sister and mother. Asymptomatic and never expecting that he was a candidate for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), Bennett had to adapt to a new normal of monitoring, physical restrictions, and daily medication. Unable to participate in competitive sports, Bennett channeled his energy into serving others, first with an organization combating SCA. Over the next 8 years, he found his passion, volunteering across a wide range of organizations including Saving Hearts Foundation. Today, Bennett has transformed his new “normal” into a healthy, active life. Caring for and assisting others has become a core value that guides his life, a life saved by a simple heart screening.
At 14 years old, Julia was an accomplished athlete, competing in multiple sports and balancing her schoolwork on top of practices, games, and meets. It seemed impossible that she had a heart condition given her active lifestyle and lack of symptoms, but this is exactly what she found out after attending a free heart screening at her high school. She was diagnosed with Long QT syndrome – a high-risk condition for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). After coming to terms with her diagnosis and the new restrictions it imposed on her life, Julia began to give back to the cause that had helped save her life, volunteering at screenings to help save the lives of other youths. She continued to work to prevent SCA in youth, establishing a chapter of Saving Hearts Foundation at Virginia Tech to provide life-saving screenings to southwestern Virginia. To date, Julia has volunteered at numerous heart screenings to help save the lives of others like herself. She has since joined the Saving Hearts Foundation in 2017, established a chapter in Virginia, and is now a medical student at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Virginia. Today, Julia says that her diagnosis “changed [her] life for the better,” not only saving her life but the lives of numerous others through her work following her diagnosis.
In 2016, this parent’s life changed after attending a Saving Hearts Foundation screening in California. They attended the screening with their son who had been an extremely healthy, active athlete throughout his life. During the screening, they found out that he had a heart condition called Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. This parent has “no doubt that through God’s saving grace and mercy and [the screening], that you saved my son’s life.”