My son, Timothy Quinn Scott died in his sleep on Saturday, December 17, 2011. His death was sudden, unexpected and without warning. The medical examiner later ruled it as a sudden cardiac death. He was 16 years old. A student-athlete, Tim excelled on the football field and in the classroom. His plans were to attend college and major in sports medicine. That will never happen!
Every year at least 600 young people die as a result of Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD). SCD occurs without warning, when the heart's electrical system stops working, so no blood is pumped throughout the body. It’s different from suffering a heart attack, where one of the arteries supplying the heart is blocked with a blood clot thus starving the heart muscle of oxygen-rich blood. Often these deaths in young people are triggered by sporting activities, which put pressure on the heart. One study found, just one in 10 U.S. student-athletes who suffer sudden cardiac arrest survives. However, there is a trend toward improved survival. An electrocardiogram (ECG) or ultrasound scan could detect heart abnormalities before they prove to be fatal to the unsuspecting victim. An ECG could save a young life! Support the development of local and national screenings to detect early signs of heart disease in young athletes by requiring physicians to conduct a heart screening prior to approving participation in sporting activities.