H eart Safe Wisconsin was started in 2014 by Jeff and Tammy Schoen after their 10-years-old son Grant died of Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Grant was an extremely athletic kid with unlimited energy and excelled at several sports. He was usually one of the first kids at practice and last to leave. On Oct. 17,2013, Grant stayed home from school because of low grade fever. He laid down for a nap around 2 pm and when his dad checked on him at 4 pm, he had already passed. Grant did not show any signs of any heart conditions and the autopsy could not find a cause of death. DNA testing is currently not back yet to determine if Grant possible had an gene mutation that are related to Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Unfortunately only about 30%-40% of the genes that contribute to Sudden Cardiac Arrest have been discovered to date. So, we will probably never know exactly why our son died.
According to the American Heart Association, every year an estimated 8,800 youth, like Grant, die every year from Sudden Cardiac Arrest and more than 401,000 adults. Currently only about 3% - 5% of out-of-hospital SCA events make it to the hospital alive. The only thing that can save the life of a SCA victims is an electrical shock by an AED within the first couple of minutes after the event. For every minute that the heart is not shocked, chance of survival decreases by 10%. More resources and training needs to be in place to increase survival rates from SCA. Every year, fires claim 6,000 lives and nearly $37 Billion is spent on fire supression. Similar efforts are needed to increase SCA survival rates in Wisconsin and throughout the United States. Join us in our efforts to save a life.