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Saturday, June 18, 2011
Sometimes We Win...Sometimes There Are Miracles
Hermitage High School....The site of this miracle
My other children would think this blog can be a negative place, as we so often focus on the children and teens lost to different varieties of sudden cardiac death. I am really pleased to bring some good news from our home state of Virginia.
This week, a student at Hermitage High School in the Richmond, Virginia area, Kathryn Hardy, had no prior known cardiac issues when she entered the school last Tuesday and experienced a cardiac arrest. Kathryn entered the school that morning, and was found face down in a stairway by a physical education teacher. Unlike many Virginia high schools, Hermitage had two school nurses AND and AED. They were able to provide CPR and AED assistance in order to resuscitate Kathryn before the ambulance arrived. Kathryn was able to receive an implanted pacemaker at St. Mary's Hospital in Richmond, shortly thereafter.
Interestingly, like many sudden cardiac arrests in children and teens, Kathryn appeared to have a seizure, but when the nurses realized she was in a full arrest, they began CPR and sent for the AED. Kathryn responded to a SECOND jolt from the AED which according to the Richmond Times Dispatch, was delivered at the ten minute mark from the actual arrest. Kathryn has no memory of the actual experience, yet returned to the school looking healthy and happy this week to thank everyone who was involved in saving her life.
I could not be more pleased that Kathryn is ok and will be fine. From each one of these events there is much to be learned. Kathryn is fine despite the fact that her loss of consciousness, and cardiac arrest continued longer than we would normally like to see, and responded only to a second jolt from the defibrillator. She also experienced a seizure, just as I believe Daniel did, simaltaneously with his cardiac arrest. This should cause many physicians to take a second look at children they believe have seizures, and who may have a normal EEG. Perhaps some childhood seizures are a rehearsal for a serious arrhythmia, more often than we think.
We have lost so many children worldwide from sudden cardiac death or from sudden unexplained death in childhood. It's so good to hear about one that was called back to her family, with good CPR and an AED. I send prayers and good wishes to their family. I am sure they know how lucky they really are.