22 year old's heart stopped

One day in October, 22-year-old Brad Phillips went into cardiac arrest. This caused his heart to stop beating, and pumping blood throughout his body for 12 minutes. Cardiac arrest can be fatal, according to the American Heart Association.

While unexpected, Brad’s heart troubles weren’t completely out of the blue. When he was five years old, Brad contracted Kawasaki disease, which causes a variety of symptoms in children including swelling artery walls. Throughout his youth and adolescence, Brad saw a pediatric cardiologist regularly to monitor his heart health. Even though Brad had no symptoms, the specialist kept him on blood thinners and gave him stress tests, which always showed his heart to be in good shape. When Brad aged out of pediatric cardiology, he made an important (and unfortunate) decision. Since he was in good cardiovascular shape, the recent college graduate delayed transitioning to an adult heart specialist. That meant no one was monitoring his condition.

Brad isn’t alone in deciding not to follow up on a chronic heart condition. There are about two million adults who experienced childhood heart problems and should continue heart care for the rest of their lives. But all too many of them think they’re cured and don’t need to worry about that vital muscle. Unfortunately, this is not true; regular monitoring may well have prevented Brad’s cardiac arrest. Brad is sharing his story to encourage others–especially those with chronic conditions–to have regular check-ups.

On that autumn day, Brad had just joined an intramural indoor soccer team. He walked onto the indoor field for his first match. All of a sudden, his knees buckled and he fell to the ground. His teammates tried to rouse him, but he didn’t respond. His heart had stopped. Quickly, his teammates called 911 and attempted CPR. That didn’t do the trick.-

When the EMS workers arrived, they shocked Brad with a defibrillator, which restarted his heart. But for 12 minutes, his vital organs, including his brain, hadn’t been receiving oxygen. The doctors were worried  They were particularly concerned that Brad’s brain had been damaged by the lack of oxygen. To stave off further injury, Brad’s Mount Sinai cardiologist lowered his body temperature to about 91.4 degrees for 24 hours, down from the standard 98.6 degrees. This approach, called therapeutic hypothermia, decreases inflammation in the brain. It can preserve the brain, and even help it recover.

The temperature change did the trick. A few days after Brad woke up, he was able to walk with help and to talk without any sign of cognitive problems. He had, though, forgotten what happened over the previous few days. He doesn’t even remember going to play soccer. Doctors say Brad’s heart made a good recovery and his brain is in good shape

Now Brad has found a cardiologist for adults and plans to see him regularly. He certainly doesn’t want anything like this to happen again.