Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Story of Survival

I have spent a lot of time on this blog talking about the many times someone young has died of cardiac arrest following an undiagnosed issue. From reading my entries on this blog, one might wonder if physicians EVER diagnose cardiac issues which could cause arrhythmia, in advance of a sudden death. Of course, they do.
Jody McBrayer is a really accomplished singer who was a member of the Christian Contemporary Musical Group, "Avalon". He is known for his distinctive and excellent praiseful voice. He has also worked with some other singers. After performing and enjoying great public and critical acclaim with the group Avalon, Jody was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy,(which can be genetic, but can also occur following an infection which could be viral) and it became necessary for him to leave "Avalon" and their fairly rigorous touring schedule. This was unfortunate for all of us, and certainly, it must have been a big shock, and quite an adjustment for Jody and for his family as well. I can't tell you what symptoms led Jody to his doctor and to the diagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, but I can tell you what the symptoms might be for many who have been diagnosed with it. NEW shortness of breath in a person who did not experience this before, especially during exercise or exertion is an important symptom. Chest pain during exertion may also be a sign. Fainting during exercise or exertion may also be a sign of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. New fatigue, or being dizzy can also be a sign of this. Lastly, heart palpitations or the sensation of one's heart beating, sometimes rapidly, can also be a sign. Certainly, many of these signs can be simple anemia, or new onset asthma, or other maladies, so it's essential that if you experience them, especially following a cold or flu, that you see your doctor for proper diagnosis and proper treatment. There ARE proper and relatively effective management strategies. There is also a wide range of how debilitating this condition can be for those who suffer from it. I can honestly say that Daniel did not report these symptoms, although in retrospect, I remember his being a little tired after playing soccer on Thanksgiving, just about sixteen hours before our son's sudden unexpected death. Daniel did not have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy on autopsy or when his cardiac cells were examined for genetic indications of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy indicators.
Although not a lot is written about Jody, he remains alive, is married to Stephanie Harrison and he has a daughter named Sarah Clayton McBrayer who was born in 2005. If you get a chance, try to listen to his solo CD, "This is Who I Am". It is possible to buy this album on Amazon, Ebay, and other sources. Jody is still a solo artist and does occasionally do concerts. I am glad his issue was diagnosed and that he is able to remain with us, and his family, here on Earth. I look forward to his stabilizing sufficiently to perhaps release more of his own music. Jody is a graduate of Liberty University here in Virginia, and makes his home with his wife and family, in a small town which shall remain nameless, within 20-30 miles of Nashville, Tennessee. Hope you're feeling fine and doing well Jody and Family. You are certainly missed by many people who follow the Contemporary Christian Music Scene. Your music makes a difference to many people.....every day.

Daniel heard this music often in our home.

Jody with his wife Sarah, taken recently

Update:  November, 2012         Someone wrote me and asked how Jody is doing.   Judging from his  active use of Twitter and his frequent Tweets, he seems just fine. You can catch up with him and wish him well there.

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