Teen's Fatal Cardiac Arrest Encourages Screenings and Saves Another Teen's Life

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Screenings Save Lives

About 400 teenagers were screened the same day Ally was diagnosed. Along with Ally, English said nine other boys found out they had some sort of irregular heart condition.

"We're talking about a human being's most vital organ," said Martha Lopez-Anderson, president of Parent Heart Watch, who also lost a son to sudden cardiac arrest. "We screen our children's hearing and vision, but some people in the medical community do not think that the heart is worthy of being screened. That's disturbing."

English now advocates for EKG screenings of all children through Parent Heart Watch. She encourages parents to ask their children how they're feeing. And she believes the screenings should be a part of standard physical routines.

"I think every single parent should have their child screened," said English. This is a silent killer. It just happens."

According to the American Heart Association, sudden cardiac arrest affects about 300,000 Americans each year. Brain death and permanent death occur within four to six minutes after cardiac arrest occurs so it is crucial to correct any sort of heart malfunction quickly.

"If I can honor Blake and help someone else, that's pretty great," said English. "Through Blake's death, Ally was saved."

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