New Book Explores How Hidden Heart Risk Needlessly Claims Young Lives

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New book asks: "Is your child at risk for HCM (sudden cardiac death) during school sports?" One in 500 are. Informed parents can prevent it.

Author Christian Wilde, in his groundbreaking book of cardiovascular risk factors and their solutions, titled “Hidden Causes of Heart Attack and Stroke,” which can be found on, offers a lifesaving, "common sense" grass roots financing concept for early detection for all school age children.

HCM is the leading cause of death, affecting one in 500 people and particularly striking those in their very young years. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (a congenital heart defect) involves a thickening of the heart muscle affecting the heart’s ability to pump. HCM also causes arrhythmic disturbances which can result in sudden cardiac death. The American Heart Association outlined recommendations for testing students more than seven years ago but because of the associated costs, the recommendations have not been widely implemented.

Wilde’s book explores different examples of HCM occurrences. HCM strikes without warning, affecting active youngsters involved in any form of physical activity. Conversely, many young victims who died were not active at all at the time of attack. One 12-year-old was simply walking home from school, another was leaning over to tie his shoe and others were struck during pre-game warm-ups.

The majority of cases however, occurred during actual competition as with basketball star Hank Gathers. There is the 2003 case of a 17-year-old Georgia high school defensive lineman Ryan Boslet-whose life of promise was abruptly ended by HCM during a pre-season football training session. Parents are not supposed to outlive their children and parents of HCM victims stuggle to make sense of the loss. Often, in memory of their child and to bring some sense of closure they organize or join proactive non-profit organizations--Holly Morrell works with A Heart For Sports in Orange County CA. Sandy and Chris Boslet lend their support to Atlanta based Heart Screens for Teens. Ryan's father Chris Boslet, in his determination that his son and other sons would not have died in vain has been effective in having the Ryan Boslet early screening and detection bill passed by the Georgia legislature. This condition can claim someone’s life in any sport as physical activity increases the risk as much as three times compared to youngsters who are less active.

Dr. Barry Maron, leading authority on HCM at the Minneapolis Heart Institute believes as many as 300 kids a year may have died because of this hidden killer. “Hidden Causes of Heart Attack and Stroke” includes the story of Chuck Morrell and his family. The book explains the tragedy of how 6 members of one family all died victims of this hidden killer. HCM often runs in families and included here is another family's story testifying to the importance of how proactive screening saved an Arizona family from a similar devastating fate that had earlier befallen the Morrell family.

Doug McWhorter, a 17-year old basketball player luckily accepted the invitation by TOPS in Arizona. Under the watchful eye of William Rappaport of the famed Arizona Heart Institute of Phoenix Arizona, the athlete was discovered to have inherited (HCM). Aware that the dysfunction often strikes other family members the McWhorter family was encouraged to also be screened. Two additional members of Doug's family-including his father, were diagnosed as having the same previously undiscovered life threatening genetic dysfunction.

The book's author has long believed in the fight against HCM. Years earlier, as a songwriter he had written a minor teen hit that mirrored an actual HCM death of a high school running back. Joey's Last Big Game -- "Fifteen cheers they gave for Joey but he never heard a single one, for Joey died that Friday night, at the game that he had won."

Christian Wilde believes, the only way to assure your boy or girl's safety is to have them tested by ultrasound which is much more effective than an EKG. As a general rule the only time this test gets administered is if the child has presented with a heart murmur, had difficult breathing or possibly experienced fainting-however the sudden death candidate may not have exhibited any of these symptoms prior to the event. These patients get overlooked as potential victims. The good news is, if HCM is found in time, implantation of a device like a defibrillator can pretty well assure the patient of a normal lifespan. The book's information urges parents to read the book's plan to organize against HCM and to get their children tested. Book is available at 800 214-8110 or

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