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15 year old soccer player suffered SCA and survived


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jcyhong Went to college in New Jersey, wroked for 3 years in New York and moved to California 30+ years ago. Find out more about jcyhong
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  • 15 year old soccer player suffered SCA and survived

    This story is on the front page of the San Jose Mercury News on November 10, 2010. A 15-year old soccer player collapsed on the field and was resuscitated by the coach.


    Mitty soccer player who collapsed credits coach who 'saved me'
    Julia Prodis Sulek
    [email protected]
    San Jose Mercury News
    Posted:11/09/2010 07:31:24 PM PST
    Nothing could have kept Christian Silveira from varsity tryouts for the Archbishop Mitty High School soccer team. Nothing could have deterred the sophomore from playing the game that he has adored since he was 5.
    His family knew about a genetic defect -- but nobody, not even doctors, expected it could stop his heart. Not this young.
    But on Thursday, friends and coaches watched helplessly as Christian collapsed near the bleachers after running some warm-up laps during tryouts. Then, a hero emerged to get his heart ticking again -- his freshman soccer coach, Jason Perez, who doubles as a paramedic.
    "He saved me," Christian, 15, said Tuesday from his hospital room filled with balloons and get-well cards.
    Christian is expected to undergo heart surgery today to insert a defibrillator that will restart his heart in case it stops again.
    The near-tragedy has doctors baffled and the local Catholic and Portuguese communities saying prayers of thanks that Christian is alive.
    His family knew he carried a defective heart gene like his father, who suffers from cardiomyopathy, but it wasn't supposed to cause any problems until Christian was at least in his 50s. For years, he had been going for checkups and getting the all-safe from doctors, including six weeks ago.
    "We did everything we were supposed to," his mother, Vanda Vargas, said Tuesday. "The doctors cleared him. It's not like I was a reckless mom. He's played soccer his whole life."
    Christian can't remember anything about his collapse last week. But the ordeal is replaying every day in the head of Perez.
    Tryouts at the San Jose school had just started at 3 p.m. Thursday, and hopeful players were running their first laps around the field when one of them, David Escobar, called out from behind the backstop of the baseball diamond. As Perez jogged across the field, he figured someone had twisted an ankle. But when he saw the look on the face of another coach, Mac Williams, Perez broke into a sprint.
    The good-natured teenager he had coached on the freshman team lay on his side awkwardly under the bleachers. He was unconscious and his breathing was erratic. Williams called 911. Perez directed a couple of players to hail emergency crews, and another to grab from his car the "pocket mask" he uses to breathe life back into patients.
    Evan Leederman, a senior on the varsity team, held Christian's head still while Perez checked for a pulse. He found none. A few other boys helped carry him a few feet to the flat cement behind the backstop. Perez started chest compressions but didn't wait for the mask to start mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
    Christian was a boy he knew well, an energetic player on the freshman team last year who once rushed into a game as a substitute and scored a goal to help beat De La Salle High. He had a funny sense of humor, often throwing out one-liners. This was a kid who idolized Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo. Soccer was his life.
    "Like all my players," Perez said, "you grow attached."
    For four or five minutes, Perez alternated between chest compressions to pump the heart and two full breaths until Engine 14 arrived. He recognized the emergency crews from his days in the Santa Clara County Fire Department academy. They cleared the boys back, and with paddles to Christian's chest, shocked his heart to get it pumping on its own.
    Perez just prayed that Christian would survive and suffer no brain damage. Perez, 40, has saved some and lost some in his 20 years in the rescue business. He thanked the players who stayed levelheaded and acted quickly during the ordeal.
    "Like I expect of you guys," he told them, "you performed under pressure, just like I knew you would."
    Before the homecoming football game against Bellarmine College Prep on Saturday, a prayer was offered up for Christian. Four or five Masses have been celebrated for his recovery, including in his father's native country of Portugal. Soccer friends have visited.
    On Monday, though, Christian received news from doctors that was devastating.
    "Your soccer career is over," the doctor told him, according to Christian's stepfather.
    The teenager broke down in tears. His father apologized for passing along the bad heart. His stepfather, Jose Vargas, cleared the hospital room filled with friends and family.
    "You try to tell him there are other things you can do," Vargas said. "But the one thing that has driven him to get up each day, to get good grades, he's told he can't do that anymore."
    On Tuesday, it was still difficult for Christian to comprehend his brush with death. He was still coming to terms with the end of his soccer days.
    "Honestly, I think I'm going to be able to deal with it," Christian said. "I can't just stop living life because of this."
    Contact Julia Prodis Sulek at 408-278-3409.

  • #2
    Re: 15 year old soccer player suffered SCA and survived

    Wow. Lucky kid and family. It just goes to show us that we have more work to do to keep stuff like this from happening.
    Daughter of Father with HCM
    Diagnosed with HCM 1999.
    Full term pregnancy - Son born 11/01
    ICD implanted 2/03; generator replaced 2/2005 and 2/2012
    Myectomy 8/11/06 - Joe Dearani - Mayo Clinic.


    • #3
      Re: 15 year old soccer player suffered SCA and survived

      Lucky indeed!
      Diagnosed @ 48
      Saw Dr. Michael Debakey @ age 5 - "He's fine, just a little noisy"
      Father to 3 boys 22, 25, 29 (all currently clear - pending genetics)
      AICD - Valentines Day '08, Spark Plug replaced 11/14
      After much research, I had a Myectomy @ Mayo for my 50th Birthday '08
      Quietly going insane . . .