Sudden Cardiac Arrest - A Mother's Story

A woman out of Fort Worth, Texas contacted Action 4 News after hearing about Robert Garza's untimely death and said her daughter died in a similar way.

It's a parent's worst nightmare.

"I thought she fell off the stair landing," said Laura Friend.

Six years ago, Friend got the news that her child was dead.

"I had no idea that kids have heart conditions that are silent killers," she said.

Friend said it came as a shock to her that her daughter had a heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy a condition where the heart muscle becomes thick and makes it difficult for blood to leave the heart.

"She was climbing up the stairs and collapsed, and she was in cardiac arrest," said Friend.

She said two hours later she was dead in the hospital, and while cause of death has not been determined for Robert Garza, the basketball player from Roma who collapsed during a game, she said it's something he could have been suffering from.

Pediatric cardiologist Clark Boyer said it's possible, but many times, parents do not see this coming.

"I do understand that kids can have heart problems, but I did not know that you can have one and not know it," said Boyer.

Dr. Boyer said if you've had a family member that has died of a sudden death before the age of 45, then it's a good idea to keep a close eye on your student athlete for any irregularities.

"That's important crucial information that maybe something is going on with the family some diseases are transmitted," said Boyer.

Dr. Boyer said there are also symptoms you can look out for like dizziness, fainting or shortness of breath, but in many cases, there may be no symptoms present.

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