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How your gift can help save children like Jacob

Jacob learned he had a serious heart condition after a free screening through Young Hearts for Life.

The call came in before 8 a.m. The caller explained to Amy Mumm that something might be wrong with her son’s heart. It was not a call that she was expecting. Jacob was an athlete training hard in soccer, baseball, football and wrestling. He didn’t show any signs of having a heart condition.

It was the day after Jacob received his free heart screening provided by Young Hearts for Life® at Joliet Catholic Academy, her son’s school.

Young Hearts for Life is the largest heart screening program in the country, providing free EKGs to high school and college-age students to detect conditions which may cause sudden cardiac death.

The caller from the program explained to Amy that Jacob’s EKG showed abnormalities consistent with Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome. This condition produces an extra electrical pathway in the heart that can lead to periods of a rapid heart rate.

Wolf-Parkinson-White Syndrome can only be discovered with an EKG. So Jacob and his mom scheduled an appointment to conduct further testing including an echocardiogram. The results confirmed that Jacob not only had WPW, but also an enlarged heart.

While uncommon, if left untreated WPW can cause serious heart problems. In some cases, WPW can be associated with sudden cardiac death.

Thankfully for Jacob, we were able to diagnosis his condition and perform a successful cardiac ablation before any complications occurred. Today, Jacob is back to participating in sports.

We need your support to help more young people like Jacob

Our program, run by volunteers, relies on generous donors like you to help provide the resources needed to expand the Young Hearts for Life® Program and deliver more lifesaving screenings. Our program also offers a bereavement support group for families who lost a child to sudden cardiac death and guidance to schools in establishing a Cardiac Emergency Action Plan.

Young Hearts for Life has performed more than 240,000 free EKG’s on teens and young adults with more than 2,900 students—just like Jacob—referred to physicians for further evaluation after detecting abnormalities during their screening.

Together, we are saving lives through these free screenings. Please make a gift today and help prevent the death of a child from an undiagnosed heart condition.