Friday, November 9, 2012

Another November Sudden Arrhythmic Death

William Wayne Jones III was a defensive back who played football for Tennessee State University.

    It doesn't matter who you are. Whether you are black, white, French, Italian, Brazilian or English.  It doesn't discriminate. Deaths from SADS or Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome are up.  The latest terrible loss to this issue is William Wayne Jones III who happened to be a college student and freshman football player at Tennessee State University.  Yesterday, when attending a non-contact practice, he collapsed, fell to the ground and became breathless and pulseless.  Reportedly, he had just caught a ball and was about to throw it back when he collapsed.  We don't have autopsy results yet but although a percentage of cases identical to these show a slightly enlarged heart, sometimes from a virus, or sometimes not, a percentage of these cases show a completely normal heart with no clue whatsoever as to why a heart rhythm disturbance led to a rhythm which was incompatible with life.   William had no known medical issues up to this time.

          Four years ago this month, my own son Daniel, 12 1/2, collapsed and died here at home, the day after Thanksgiving, the day after playing a short spirited game of soccer.  He was completely fine and was excited about Christmas. He walked into the bathroom to get ready to go Christmas shopping on that Black Friday, collapsed, and was gone.  CPR was ineffective.   I had never heard of Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome until that day.  Now, I hear about it every couple of months. Daniel has a completely negative autopsy, and no explanation as to why this occurred.

          William Wayne Jones III is remembered as a person of great promise and of great value. Here are the things said about him in a statement by  Dr. Portia Holmes Shields, the President of Tennessee State University.

 "Not only did Wayne exhibit a high level of maturity and sense of responsibility during the camp, he also made many friends through his sense of humor and excitement about being a student here.  Wayne was an outstanding, personable young man, who was on his way to becoming a leader as shown by the skills he exhibited among his friends and team mates. We shared a space on the sidelines at our games where he could be heard cheering for the team and encouraging them."

          My heart goes out to the family of William Wayne Jones III for whom this journey is just beginning. May God and those around the Jones Family hold them close now and through these upcoming holidays, and may they feel the presence of God with them always.

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