Saturday, April 5, 2014

Olivia's Heart Project


  I first saw a picture of Olivia Hoff on a webpage which memorialized the sons and daughters, sisters and brothers who passed  due to QT syndromes, a sudden and unexpected heart rhythm disturbance, often in an otherwise healthy person, which all too often produces a sudden death.   Olivia was only fourteen years old at her passing in 2004.

    Daniel joined Olivia on that same memorial page in 2008.   As I looked at each of the pictures of these people, I felt sorrow.  I knew only too well that the departure of each of them will leave a permanent hole in their families, an awful lot like a sudden sink hole.  Regardless of the faith of these families, the loss from their families lives on Earth will be palpable and permanent.

     I was fortunate however to have contact this year with Olivia's mother,  Corinne Ruiz.   Corinne has worked hard to create a living and working memorial to Olivia which may well help to prevent some of the additional losses of children, teens and adults to undiagnosed heart rhythm disturbances.

    This is the story of what happened to Olivia, in her mother's words.

     Corinne Ruiz founded Olivia's Heart Project, which exists to raise awareness of the 400,000 deaths each year from a sudden cardiac death.  10,000 of these annual deaths are children.   Corinne works hard to educate the public, be an advocate for learning CPR, and also to place AEDs (automated emergency defibrillators) in as many public places as possible.  She is also a co-organizer of heart screenings in her community and beyond.   An arrhythmic death is not a heart attack. It is a disturbance in the rhythm of the heart which may be due to malformation, an undiagnosed physical condition, or sometimes only an episodic or hard to catch alteration in an EKG.

      Olivia's Heart Project

        I have tried to bring awareness of this issue following Daniel's passing.   I think that Olivia's mom, Corinne has done an incredible job in terms of bringing awareness of this issue and of bringing AEDs starting in her own community,and reaching beyond.    I know that Olivia would be so proud of her, just as I am sure Olivia's brother is also.

Olivia's Heart Project Newsletter for April, 2014---  Good information here 


  1. It takes a lot to reach out to others in awareness to prayerfully save another family from the loss of a loved one. It is the love of God in her and you both and others who reach out as well.

    1. Lara,
      As I watch you continuing to reach out to others, and continuing to create the beautiful and happy home for your other kids, I know that Lucas looks down occasionally, and while beaming with pride, says, "That's my Mom !" Continuing to be the loving person he knew, even after a tragedy, honors him, I think in ways that you and I can only imagine. Love to all of you.


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