Personal Trainer Saves Life of Lawyer with Undiagnosed Genetic Condition

Andrew, age 37, was exercising on a gym treadmill when he passed out.

Fortunately, his trainer was able to apply CPR and revive Andrew before putting him into an ambulance. He was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a genetic condition that can cause sudden cardiac arrest. 

Andrew Sreniawski, a 37-year-old healthy, athletic lawyer in Manhattan, was exercising at a midtown Equinox when he suddenly passed out and fell off his treadmill. Luckily, the trainer present, Steve Csolak, had just completed a CPR course and revived Andrew before getting him in an ambulance to Mount Sinai St. Luke’s. At the hospital, he was treated by therapeutic hypothermia, and stayed in the CCU for a full two weeks to recover.

Andrew’s cardiologist, Dr. Eyal Herzog, diagnosed him with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a genetic condition in which the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick, making it hard for the heart to pump blood. It is a common cause of sudden cardiac arrest in young people, including young athletes. It often goes undiagnosed, however, since most people with the condition have no symptoms and experience no significant problems. HCM can affect people of any age, and affects men and women equally. Andrew has a family history of young sudden cardiac arrest and death, however he never knew to be tested for HCM, and as young and healthy as he was, he never imagined being at risk for heart problems.

This condition is a dangerous one and can hide in seemingly healthy young people and athletes and cause sudden cardiac arrest. Luckily, Andrew made a full recovery and is now aware of the genetic condition his family has been unknowingly suffering from for generations thanks to Dr. Herzog’s diagnosis.