Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Another Sudden Ballfield Death


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       Next month, it will be five years since our Daniel collapsed and died at our home, with essentially no real medical history which suggested such a thing was even remotely possible.   Since then, Daniel is never very far from our family's thoughts.  Since that time, we have tried to being awareness to both SUDC, sudden unexplained death in childhood, and to SADS, sudden arrhythmic death syndrome, without a great deal of success, I might add.  Since then, we have noted many other sons and daughters who have collapsed, received CPR, or perhaps later, aid from an AED, who have also been lost to their families.  Today was no exception.

            Jacob Vick, a fifteen year old New Kent High School (Virginia) sophomore, was a stand out kid with a 3.7 average.  He was also a starting linebacker on the school's football team.   Jacob seemed fine yesterday according to his coach, but during practice, he collapsed.  They had the good sense to airlift him to a major center at Virginia Commonwealth University Hospital.  Jacob died at the hospital.

         Of course, an autopsy will need to be done to rule out other potential causes of his collapse and sudden death.  However, the pattern sounds a great deal like sudden arrhythmic death syndrome.  A young healthy teen without a known cardiac issue who is bright and diligent plays a sport, seems okay, and then collapses in a cardiac arrest. (Often falling forward.)  Professional attempts at resuscitation, in this scenario, often fail.

           As a nation, we still aren't doing EKG screenings and specialized EKGs such as the microvolt t-wave alternans for those who have a family history of syncope (fainting) or a history of sudden death in the older members of the family. Better screenings should be done on all twelve year old students, and in advance of full participation in sports.   I can assure you that if anything could be done to detect students at risk of a sudden demise such as this, that the families who remain would have wanted that done.  I know I would have.

         Jacob had been treated for a concussion recently, but had been medically cleared to return to practice, on that score.  This collapse could be related to the concussion, as sometimes bleeding or undetected aneurysm can worsen arrhythmias in an arrhythmic prone person, or Jacob's passing may be due to a spontaneous disturbance in heart rhythm.  My family and I send our condolences to the family and friends of Jacob Vick. Those of us on Earth will miss you.

Jacob Vick's Hudl profile

This is Jacob's obituary with funeral information:

VICK, Jacob Aulman, 15, of New Kent, went to be with the Lord on Tuesday, October 29, 2013. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Conley and Joyce Vick. He was a member of Corinth Baptist Church in New Kent, Va. Jacob was an excellent student and enjoyed sports. He was a Texas Longhorn and Redsox fan. Jacob was a member of the Varsity Football team and Junior Varsity Baseball team at New Kent High School. He also enjoyed playing the electric guitar, skimboarding, surfing and fishing. Jacob always managed to set time aside in making sure he was a great big brother to his two younger sisters. He is survived by his parents, Robert and Susan Vick; sisters, Lucy and Lauren Vick; grandparents, Ronald and Elizabeth Jones; uncles, Kevin Jones (Robin), Tim Vick, Mike Vick (Bobbie); aunt, Beth Vick (Jay); and cousin, Morgan Jones. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 1 p.m. at New Kent High School, 7501 Egypt Rd., New Kent, Va. Interment services will be private at Washington Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made, in memory of Jacob Vick, to Corinth Baptist Church, 11650 New Kent Hwy., New Kent, Va. Online condolences may be made at

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