REBECCA’S STORY

REBECCA’S STORY

(Written by her parents)

Becca Basketball

Becca’s Basketball Photo

HEARTFELT cardiac screening saved Rebecca’s life!

Rebecca ran cross-country, played JV  basketball, and ran long distant track for Esperanza High School. In the summer after her freshman year, a girl’s sister on her cross-country team, Morgan, died suddenly on the tennis court from cardiac arrest. This event plus shortness of breath that Rebecca felt frequently when running longer distances in cross-country (her doctor told her it was sports induced asthma and gave her an inhaler to use), troubled her often.  She suspected that something else might be wrong. That fall, HEARTFELT cardiac screening was offered at her high school campus and Rebecca felt the urge to be checked. The screening was easy and didn’t take long. After her screening, Rebecca was told by Heartfelt Cardiac Projects that an abnormality was detected, and referred her to a cardiologist for further testing.

Becca Cross Country Esperanza

Becca’s Cross Country Photo

Rebecca was diagnosed with Hydrotropic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). This is a
thickening of the middle wall (septum) between the heart chambers that makes the
lower left ventricle smaller and harder for blood to get through especially during
extreme exercise. At the time Rebecca was running up to 6 miles a day in cross-
country. The shortness of breath and tightness she was feeling in her chest wasn’t
from asthma; it most likely was from not enough blood being pumped through her
heart! Her cardiologist told her to stop organized sports immediately. He ran her
through several stress tests and found her heart working fine under normal
conditions. If her heart continued to pump extremely in sports, she may have
suffered cardiac arrest.

Becca Cross Country OC Invitational

Becca’s Cross Country OC Invitational Photo

We are so thankful we discovered this through HEARTFELT cardiac screening.  Rebecca’s life has changed. It’s been hard for her to give up competitive sports. She has found alternative ways of exercise through Pilates, yoga, and hiking. Her cardiologist has her on a low dosage beta-blocker medication but no further medical attention is needed other than yearly heart checkups.

HCM is genetic. Our family has been genetically tested and neither her brother nor
sister has HCM. We also know that Rebecca can pass this along to her kids but now
that this gene has been identified, it possibly could be “spun out” of Rebecca’s DNA
so it may not affect her future children.

Becca Bday

Becca’s Birthday Photo

This diagnosis has also inspired Rebecca to inform others about this screening. She
learned that statistically 3 other people at her school could have HCM and not know
it. The following spring after her diagnosis, Rebecca spoke to every sports team at
Esperanza High School encouraging them to get tested at the HEARTFELT cardiac
screening held at the same time as the spring sport’s physicals. Supporting
HEARTFELT cardiac screening is very important to Rebecca. Many thanks to Holly,
the founder of HEARTFELT cardiac screening, for all her kindness and
encouragement during this scary time!

Dawn & Mark,
Rebecca’s mom  & dad

Learn more about heart screenings at:

Heartfelt Cardiac Projects

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HEART SCREENING MISSION VIEJO

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Early detection saves lives!

If you would like to be screened at our Mission Viejo, California event,

please click link below:

http://heartfeltcardiacprojects.org/schedule-a-screening/

CHEYNE FIGHTS ON ~ TESTIMONIAL

Cheyne

Cheyne and Holly Morrell, Executive Director, Heartfelt Cardiac Projects

Cheyne at a Heartfelt Cardiac Projects Screening Event

At a Heartfelt Cardiac Projects Screening Event,

a heart abnormality was detected.

Cheyne is a survivor and fights on !

Early Detection Saves Lives!

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A LETTER FROM CHEYNE’S PARENTS

“[Prior to the cardiac screening she received from Heartfelt Cardiac Projects] Cheyne had no signs or symptoms, so you can imagine our shock when the surgeon explained that she was born with an atrial septal defect (ASD) or a “hole in the heart” about the size of a dime…Unfortunately, due to the size and location of the hole, Cheyne was not a candidate for a less evasive procedure, she would have to have open heart surgery. The surgery went just as planned. Cheyne spent five days in the intensive care unit at CHOC Children’s Hospital in Orange, CA. Soon, after taking about two weeks to rest, Cheyne was back working out with her soccer team the week before school started. Though it was about 6 months before she felt fully recovered, Cheyne is now back and better than ever…Thankfully we will never really understand how lucky we are.

Heartfelt Cardiac Projects saved our daughter’s life.”

– Dave & Tania Cheyne’s Parents

Cheynes Parents

CHEYNE’S PARENTS

Heartfelt Cardiac Projects Production photo.

Photographer: Meghan Kirk!

—  and Holly Morrell at Sparkle Films.

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Heartfelt Cardiac Projects provides cardiac screening in order to save lives from preventable tragedies due to Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).  Echocardiograms (ECHO) and Electrocardiograms (ECG/EKG) are offered for a nominal tax deductible donation, per screening.

Click here to find out about our upcoming screening events:  http://heartfeltcardiacprojects.org/schedule-a-screening/

CARIDAC SCREENING EVENT 12/15/2012

cropped-heartfelt-i-got-checked.jpg

HEARTFELT CARDIAC PROJECTS CARDIAC SCREENING EVENT

12/15/2012

St. Margaret’s Episcopal School

9:00 a.m. – 5:00

Pasternack Field House

31641 La Novie Avenue, San Juan Capistrano, CA  92675

Screening includes Electrocardiogram (EKG) & Echocardiogram (ECHO)

Cost:  $85.00 (Tax Deductible)

Ages:  5 yrs. old and older

CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE SCREENING

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Heartfelt Screening at St Margarets Flier

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READ THE ARTICLE BY ST. MARGARET’S

On Saturday, December 15, St. Margaret’s will hold its third elective heart screening event from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the Pasternack Field House. Last year, in conjunction with the non-profit Heartfelt Cardiac Projects, St. Margaret’s held two similar screening days which were attended by more 400 students, employees and parents. Thanks to these two initial screenings, two student lives were potentially saved and more 25 others were referred to physicians for further evaluation. You can read more at http://heartfeltcardiacprojects.org/ryan-ohare/ and http://heartfeltcardiacprojects.org/zack/. While both events were successful in terms of attendance alone, the fact that the screenings probably saved and definitely improved lives (young and old) has motivated us to schedule a third screening, open to the entire St. Margaret’s Episcopal School community.

The screening process itself is simple, low cost and carries no health risks. Holly Morrell, founder of Heartfelt Cardiac Projects, and her team will bring all of the equipment necessary to perform voluntary EKG’s and Echocardiograms (a short, painless, ultrasound of the heart, with no side effects). She also provides certified EKG and Echo technologists. After filling out a simple health questionnaire, participants receive their EKG and Echocardiogram, which take approximately 15-20 minutes. Results are read by a cardiologist/electrophysiologist and mailed back to participants within 30 days. Participants who may require further evaluation will be referred to an appropriate physician. The cost is $85 per person, which is a tax deductible donation to Heartfelt Cardiac Projects.

For those less familiar with the history of cardiac screening at St. Margaret’s, the effort stems from the rash of high profile deaths among young, apparently healthy athletes from all across the nation, in a variety of sports. These tragic incidents have raised awareness and have demonstrated a need for a more rigorous cardiac screening for young athletes and young people in general. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, deaths from sudden cardiac arrest have increased 10 percent (from 2,719 in 1989 to 3,000 in 1996) in people between the ages of 15 and 34. Efforts to screen for some of the major contributors to sudden cardiac arrest have been hampered by inadequate funding, the high cost of screening and lack of qualified screeners.

Thanks to the continued support of Headmaster Marcus D. Hurlbut, Athletic Director Susie Maga and Head Football Coach Rod Baltau, St. Margaret’s is a leader in youth cardiac screening. Erin Newman Armstrong (Class of 1998), a cardiac ICU nurse at Mission Hospital and wife of a sudden cardiac arrest survivor, will again assist Holly Morrell’s team. Holly founded Heartfelt Cardiac Projects to help save lives through early detection, education and increased public awareness of sudden cardiac arrest, and has 11 years of experience screening student athletes nationwide. After losing six family members to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the number one cause of sudden cardiac arrest in young people in the U.S., Holly was also diagnosed with the condition in 2002.

The goal of these screenings is to educate students, parents, faculty and staff not only about their own cardiac health but also about CPR and the use of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs). So far, this coordinated approach has not only helped to improve the lives of two of our students but also a soccer referee who was revived with an AED thanks to Trainer David Tomlinson and Coach Mel Taylor. Our sincere hope is to prevent similar episodes in our community and to teach people to respond quickly and effectively if they do.

The December screening is open to any student (over 5 years old), parent, faculty or staff member. Please visit “schedule a screening” at www.heartfeltcardiacprojects.org.

Sincerely,

S. Todd Newman, M.D. (Class of 1991)

Vice Chairman, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian

St. Margaret’s Varsity Football Team Physician

For more information about our screener, Holly Morrell, visit http://heartfeltcardiacprojects.org/who-we-are/ or contact Dr. Newman at Snewman25911@yahoo.com. For more information on why we are doing this, please watch this video from Parent Heart Watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ww96dEBDVP8&feature=youtube_gdata_player.