Woman remembers son while promoting life saving health screening
Sun, 10 Nov 2013 00:20:43 GMT —
A 30 minute screening could save a child's life, according to doctors.
Like many high school seniors, Thomas Smith was a busy student at Flushing High.
His mother, Mary Smith, said, "he was an active sports player he was on the honor roll, he played the drums. he was just an all around normal kid."
But an underlying and undetected medical condition took Thomas' life in 2011 when he passed away from sudden cardiac arrest.
"What we found out is he had a heart that was twice as large as it should have been," said Mary Smith.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a condition that can cause sudden death in young athletes or anyone engaging in physical activity.
"The problem with sudden death is most of the time it happens without warning. It is genetic so most of the time kids and family members don't even know they have it," said Dr. Jim Weber, Hurley Medical Center.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the most common cause of death among us athletes.
"This is happening 2000 times a year to other students," said Smith.
"Target audience is all kids you tend to hear about it in athletes but its not just for athletes its for all kids," said Dr. Weber.
For that reason, the Smith Family Foundation has donated $10,000 to Hurley Medical Center to fund screening for teens at Clio High School Saturday.
"This is really an opportunity to provide a detailed examination that goes far beyond a stethoscope in a pediatricians office," said Dr. Weber.
Hundreds of Genesee County teens attended Saturday's event.
For more information about sudden cardiac arrest, you can click here.