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A show of hands, please


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Brownie Find out more about Brownie
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  • A show of hands, please

    I would like some help making a decision from people who have more insight than I into HCM.

    Last week a family in my community lost a wonderful man due to sudden death while playing hockey with the "oldtimers". He was a fit and active 53 year old man who collapsed and died during a game. My first thought, of course, was that he had died of HCM, but I was reluctant to say anything since it might have been a heart attack, as was reported in the media. Since then, however, I have learned that this man's father also died suddenly (he collapsed and died on the dance floor at a wedding). Am I right to think that this is another HCM family? My parents have known his mother for a number of years, and I would consider sharing my concerns with her, but I do not want to jump to conclusions and cause greater trauma to a family that is already reeling.

    A show of hands, please. Was this a case of undiagnosed HCM?

  • #2
    Re: A show of hands, please

    Yes, it may be HCM... it may also be a long list of other cardiac issues. Opening a discussion of the possibility of HCM is not a bad idea.

    Let me know if we can help.

    Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
    YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

    Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
    lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
    Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
    Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
    Currently not obstructed
    Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)


    • #3
      Re: A show of hands, please

      Good Morning,

      If he has other siblings and children, grand etc... I would definitly
      say something. Did they do an autopsy? In some cases they would catch it then.
      You would possibly be saving a life or lives.

      Laura Johnson


      • #4
        Re: A show of hands, please

        Brownie, I would certainly share your concern with the family, although I would not hurry into it. Within the first weeks, his widow probably will be searching through a lot of emotional feelings. The shock of it all is overwhelming for most. Her realistic search for answers and the willingness to help others in the extended family will come about in another week or two.

        Visit with her without taking along information. Be sincere in sharing her loss and do something for her rather than just offering the jesture. It's nice to receive offers, but most people just don't ask for assistance with tasks.

        Whether the autopsy, if performed, showed evidence of HCM or not, set a time, within a week, to return with information about it. She may recognize some of the symptoms of HCM as listed on this website.

        Thanks from all of us for your willingness to help others.



        • #5
          Re: A show of hands, please

          I would concere with Frank! He has some great suggestions and hit the nail on the head, in the early stages of grief people need a shoulder to lean on, stuff done around the house, errands run, or phone calls made, and when they are ready to search for answers, they will start their search.

          You are doing the right thing with showing your compassion and sincerity. I wish you all the best and hope that when the time comes for you to speak to the family about HCM, the right words and heart felt sincerity will be there for you.



          • #6
            Re: A show of hands, please

            Thank you for your comments and advice. I feel as you do, Laura, that lives may be saved by speaking up. In addition to his four children, this man has 5 or 6 siblings who could be at risk. I will proceed cautiously, allowing time for the family to mourn.

            I have spent a great deal of time learning about HCM since my daughter was diagnosed last summer, and I wanted to be sure that my preoccupation with HCM was not making me see it in every circumstance. Although it may be something else, I feel that the risks of undiagnosed HCM are too great not to raise the possibility with the family.

            Thanks again.