By Providing Free Heart Screenings, Simon’s Fund Teams with Children’s Hospital to Honor Akhir Frazier and Prevent Other Student Athlete Deaths

Simon’s Fund Continues Mission to Help Save Children’s Lives Through Free Heart Screenings in Memory of Three Month Old Son

NORRISTOWN, PA – October 27, 2010 – This Saturday, October 30th, Simon’s Fund will host a free heart screening for students of the Norristown School District, ages 10 – 19 from 8:30am to 4pm at Norristown Area High School. Conducted by the medical team from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) led by Dr. Victoria Vetter, each student will receive an ECG exam, a physical exam, and if necessary, an echocardiogram. Simon’s Fund’s Norristown screening is being held in memory of Akhir Frazier, a standout basketball player, who collapsed suddenly while playing basketball at the Hank Gather’s Rec Center.  Frazier was supposed to attend Norristown Area High School this year.

Every year thousands of children like Akhir die too soon from sudden cardiac arrest. A simple heart screening, like the one being offered by Simon’s Fund this Saturday, will detect up to 85 percent of the conditions that lead to sudden cardiac arrest and death. Students may register for the screening at simonsheart.org/register.

Simon’s Fund and CHOP have been providing heart screenings for students for the past four years and have screened more than 2,000 students.  Aggregated data from the screenings shows that 1 out of every 100 children screened will discover a potentially fatal heart condition.  These findings are consistent with studies conducted in Italy where all young athletes are screened.  In Italy, the incidence of sudden cardiac death in young adults has decreased by 89 percent since implementing the mandatory screenings.

Simon’s Fund was created by Phyllis and Darren Sudman following the passing of Simon Sudman, their three-month-old son who died suddenly in his sleep in January 2004. While investigating the cause of his death, the Sudman Family was advised to get ECG exams. As a result, Phyllis Sudman was diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome, a condition that can lead to sudden cardiac arrest and/or death.  Most of these conditions can be detected with an ECG exam and treated with medication.  Simon’s Fund is committed to raising awareness about these conditions and providing free heart screenings to students in the region.

“All of our children get their eyes examined.  They get a hearing test.  We need to start checking their hearts too,” says Phyllis Sudman, co-founder of Simon’s Fund.  “By providing this very inexpensive, painless and effective exam, we will decrease the number of children that drop dead from sudden cardiac arrest.”

To register and attend the screening, please visit dev.simonsheart.org/register or email events@simonsfund.org.

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