On April the eleventh, Taylor Dorman was in school, and it was his sixteenth birthday. He attended a gymn class in which the class was practicing line drives. A few moments later, Taylor was accidentally hit in the chest with a softball. He seemed fine afterward even joking about it. Twenty minutes later, this was not the case. Friends asked him if he were alright, and there was no response. A medical transport helicopter was dispatched to the Southern California Ramona High School.
CPR was continued, and Taylor is said to have survived long enough to have been admitted to an Intensive Care Unit. However he died not long after.
Taylor is said to have been a loyal friend. He is remembered as a jovial and fun classmate. He had a lot of friends who will miss him badly. The medical examiner's office indicates that Taylor experienced a heart rhythm disturbance prior to his death. Friends say they believe that Taylor was known to have a history of a heart murmur.
|His school says he will always be remembered as a very happy person.|
Children, teens and adults who collapse immediately or later and die of a heart rhythm disturbance are said to have had something called commotio cordis. In each heartbeat, we have a vulnerable period called our "t" wave in which anything from a tap on the chest, a fall, or even vomiting can send the heart into a non productive rhythm. This non-productive rhythm can eventually result in a cardiac arrest, and when it's caused by such a phenomenon, can be very resistant to resuscitation.
I send my deepest condolences today to the family, and friends, and particularly the mother of Taylor Dorman. I can relate to your shock, and your emptiness.
Family and friends had planned to celebrate his sixteenth birthday this weekend, and are devastated that they will be attending his funeral instead.
As the mother of a child who died who at 12 1/2, died of a cardiac arrest secondary sudden heart rhythm disturbance, without being tapped in the chest, and with no prior cardiac history whatsoever, I can tell you that much more of this happens than is realized. I'm tired of being told how rare a sudden death in a child or teen from arrhythmia is. Then why have I met so many ? It's time to have AEDs at every practice, and it's time to screen all teens with an EKG before 13. This will not catch every case, and an AED on site will not save every young man or young woman who experiences a sudden cardiac arrest, but we will do better than is being done in the US right now. If I can spare even one family, the sudden and unexpected loss of a child, then this certainly seems a worthy task.
|Taylor Dorman, in happy times.|
Our older posts on commotio cordis can be found at:
One of the boys mentioned in the post below, Matthew Hammerdorfer, also passed due to commotio cordis, although he was playing rugby.