On January 18, 2013 Brandon Goyne, 20, a student at Louisiana State University in Alexandria was at baseball practice. He was one of the younger team members, and was a sophomore outfielder, but the coach says he was a real standout there. During baseball practice Brandon collapsed, experienced a cardiac arrest, and despite quick intervention, never regained consciousness. Head Coach Brent Porche says that the team, had been overwhelmed by support following this tragedy. There is no telling where Brandon's skill in sports and his zest for life would have taken him in the future.
Normally, autopsy results are private and are not public record, unless a family chooses to release some information from one. Brandon's parents, Scott and Debbie Goyne, chose to release autopsy information in order to bring attention to this diagnosis. Despite the fact that Brandon had two physicals in the months that led up to his sudden death, he did not have an EKG. In Brandon's case, an EKG would have shown the diagnosis which caused his passing. On autopsy Brandon was diagnosed with ARVD/C or Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia/Cardiomyopathy. This is a more specific diagnosis of arrhythmic death of a young person, than we normally receive. It is in fact, not a heart attack or myocardial infarction. EKGs are not necessarily required for students of any age who play sports. Although an EKG would have detected Brandon's cardiac diagnosis, in many, like my Daniel, it would not have. Still, if just a few families could avoid losing their sons or daughter's suddenly, during sports or simply living their lives, this would be a task worth doing.
ARVD/C is not the cause of all sudden death due to arrhythmia during sports, but it is a cause of a percentage of it. This diagnosis is of genetic origin, and CAN be treated if the diagnosis is made. This is why it is particularly important for the family members of someone who experiences sudden death while playing sports to be examined by a university based cardiology team. For example, Brandon's arrhythmic death could have been detected and prevented by EKG and intervention, whereas our Daniel's likely could not have been detected prior to the event itself.
Athletic model Krissy Taylor also died from this diagnosis, which was detected on autopsy.
Brandon's parents and his brother Derek have started the Brandon Goyne Foundation. Its goal is to make EKGs available to everyone who plays school sports in order to detect as many potential Brandons out there as possible. In addition, the family wishes to bring to the attention of schools, coaches and families that everyone who plays sports should have an EKG first. They have details about this on Facebook.
More information on The Goyne Foundation .
This is additional reading on ARVD/C: