When doctors told Margie Gardner her daughter’s heart arrhythmia was not hereditary, she was relieved; at least, she needn’t worry about her older child Jake. Still when she heard about Simon’s Fund’s free heart screening at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School in 2007, she decided to have Jake tested. She remains stunned by the irony of Jake’s diagnosis that day with Wolff Parkinson White (WPW), an extra electrical pathway in the heart which can cause a very rapid heartbeat.
During spring break that year, Jake underwent cardiac ablation to repair his heart at A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children. After taking six weeks off to recuperate, Jake went right back to his busy life, which includes marching band, hiking and rock climbing.
Seven years after Jake’s diagnosis, his mother reflects, “Jake’s surgery was simple, but his condition could have killed him. We feel very lucky that Simon’s Fund exists and helped us ensure Jake’s safety. We only wish that we had known about Jake’s heart condition when he were an infant and taken care of it then.