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One more death

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Lisa Salberg Find out more about Lisa Salberg
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  • One more death

    Thick ventricle caused Womeodu's death -- Only defibrillator could
    have possibly saved him, doctor says

    BYLINE: Zack McMillin
    The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

    BODY:

    A structural abnormality of the heart led to the death of Anthony Okechi
    Womeodu, the 16-year-old White Station student and tennis standout who died Nov.
    10 while playing soccer.

    According to Dr. Kenneth Snell, the assistant medical examiner, Womeodu had a
    condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The left ventricle of his heart
    was abnormally thick, which, in combination with routine physical activity, led
    to the cardiac arrhythmia that caused him to collapse and die.

    "It is a structural abnormality of the heart," Snell said. "It's too heavy.
    It's too large. It's too big. It sets him up or anyone for an abnormal heartbeat
    to develop."

    Womeodu had participated in less than 15 minutes of the soccer match and was
    sitting on the bench when he collapsed.

    Snell said there is no way to predict when a person with the condition might
    have an abnormal heartbeat, and the condition itself is very hard to detect
    without undergoing invasive procedures.

    "We can't say when the abnormal heartbeat could occur," Snell said. "(If
    someone has this condition) it is a normal thing to occur in athletic activity.
    It has no relation to overexertion."

    Snell said if someone is diagnosed, the recommendation from doctors is to
    avoid even routine athletic activity.

    Snell and Dr. Helen Morrow, the acting health officer for the Memphis and
    Shelby County Health Department, said the condition can run in families. The
    best indication that a child might have the condition is if there is any family
    history of a child dying suddenly while participating in a physical activity.

    "But not everyone who has it has the family history," Snell said.

    Although uncommon, according to the Web site of the Hypertrophic
    Cardiomyopathy Assocation ( 4hcm.org ), it is estimated that as many as 300,000
    people in the United States have HCM.

    Snell and Morrow recommend that all children, adolescents and teenagers
    receive a routine physical examination, preferably from their primary care
    pediatrician, once a year.

    "And families should know their own family history," Morrow said.

    Snell said should someone with HCM develop cardiac arrhythmia there is only
    one possible way to return to the heartbeat to a normal rhythm: a defibrillator.

    More businesses and facilities are adding portable defibrillators, and it can
    save lives, Snell said.

    "But it has to be present, and someone must be present who knows how to
    operate it," he said.
    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)

  • #2
    Re: One more death

    I'm glad the HCMA was mentioned, but there are a few misleading things in this article. These quotes aren't quite right.

    Snell said there is no way to predict when a person with the condition might
    have an abnormal heartbeat, and the condition itself is very hard to detect
    without undergoing invasive procedures.
    Snell and Dr. Helen Morrow, the acting health officer for the Memphis and
    Shelby County Health Department, said the condition can run in families. The
    best indication that a child might have the condition is if there is any family
    history of a child dying suddenly while participating in a physical activity.
    God bless this boy's family.

    Reenie
    Reenie

    ****************
    Husband has HCM.
    3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: One more death

      I agree Reenie... those two points in particular are somewhat innacurate.

      Jim
      "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: One more death

        The reporter did not call me - he must have simply found the website.

        At least there is a way for people to find us and get more information.

        Lisa
        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)

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: One more death

          My heart felt prayers go out to Anthony Okechi Womeodu and his family and friends during this time of loss and sadness. He will be missed just like so many other young soles.

          I send prayers to David M. Ribeiro and his family as well. May God bless all the young soles that are taken so suddenly from families that are hurting so deeply. I hope that peace is brought to each one during this upcoming holiday season and blessings are found in the surrounding family and friends of those gone before us.

          Comment

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