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Friday, April 22, 2011

About Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM).

Please read this. Especially if you are related to me.

As we have established, HCM is a disorder of the heart which causes a thickening of the muscle walls. That's how they find it; by measuring the thickness. It is quite a prevalent disease. One in five hundred have it. This number would undoubtedly be higher if it were possible to check everyone for this condition. It is a genetic disorder but will sometimes occur as a hiccup. We are not sure it the cause of Ashton's HCM is genetic or not.

Ashton has a rather advanced form of this disease. This is going to sound incredibly strange, but if my son has to have the disorder, I am glad it is as advanced as it is. He has shown symptoms all his life by way of heart murmurs and shortness of breath. Thank goodness! Let me explain a bit, here. The symptoms of HCM are virtually nonexistent, or they mirror symptoms of other disorders, such as asthma or panic attacks. People can have this disease and not even know it. Quite often, the first symptom is sudden death. Let me repeat: SUDDEN DEATH! To reiterate, the FIRST (1st) symptom is most often S-U-D-D-E-N D-E-A-T-H! Where do you go from there?

So now that we have established the very real possibility of sudden death, I would like to point out that this most often occurs during exertion. This is why many young athletes fall over dead for no apparent reason. If you are getting your children involved in sports, have them checked out. Each and every young athlete in Italy is checked for this before they can participate in sports. Their death rate from HCM has dropped by 90%. That is huge.

It was stated earlier that HCM may be genetically transferred. We have all been checked out, and Ashton is the only one in our household to have it. If you are related to either Shauna or Jerry, Please have your family checked; I implore you. It may save a life.

1 comment:

  1. Info in this latest blog should be sent to The Spectrum as an educational editorial..with your words maybe you could "start the ball rolling" so to speak to get our local schools to start checking our young athletes before they start sports..I'd leave out "personal" references in it for the Spectrum..just give your facts you've learned and pass on this GREAT can be a tribute to Ashton before his recovery operation..Mary