A family's story Tim and Theresa Miller from Delaware, Ont., lost their teenage son to heart failure in 2003.
"We got Daniel to hospital twice on a Monday, and then on the Wednesday. He had all the classic signs that they talk about in these guidelines and they were not recognized as heart failure," says Tim Miller. "Finally, they were trying to resuscitate him and the doctor said, 'It doesn't look good. He probably has myocarditis.' But by then it was too late. He had been in hospital for almost two full days."
"He was 17," adds Theresa Miller. "He was a normal, healthy, bright kid. He'd just finished his application for university, and then, just out of the blue, he got this case of the flu, but he was sicker than we had ever seen him. It was different from any other flu he'd ever had."
"It's the regular physician on the floor that needs to be aware of these guidelines to get the patient on the right track," adds Tim. "The guidelines talk about unusually high heart rate, and that was one of Daniel's symptoms. When he went in that first day, the doc came back and said, 'Wow, his heart rate is really high.'"
"And it was at that moment in time, if these guidelines were in place and had sparked that doctor to recognize the symptoms of myocarditis, that was Daniel's chance. And he was at a tertiary care facility, all the experts were there, but they looked at him as someone having the flu and never thought to look at him broadly enough and treat him in the way that he needed to be treated," says Theresa. "We think these guidelines could be hugely helpful because they give logical steps of what needs to happen if we are going to give these kids a chance."
"This was totally out of the blue, that on a Saturday you have a son, and by Thursday, you don't."
|Contact: Jane-Diane Fraser|
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada