Paula was diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyapathy (HCM) when she was in the 8th grade. The disease is very prevalent in my father's family line as we have 12 family members who have it within three generations. Paula was active in soccer and swimming. At that time her cardiologist gave her the okay to continue sports, but by the time Paula was a sophomore playing high school soccer, she began to literally sit on the field in exhaustion.
In the spring of that same school year a local basketball athlete collapsed during a championship game and died. He was later diagnosed with HCM, which had been misdiagnosed as asthma. As a concerned mother who has the disease as well, I consulted with my cardiologist and he decided to pull Paula from all competitive sports but had given her the okay to jog one mile a day.
She was crossing the street to the facility when her heart went into fibrillation. She stumbled several times before she finally collapsed on the street. A university police officer happened to be driving the back streets that early morning and saw her stumbling and finally collapsing. He called his partner who happened to be right around the corner. She reached Paula and began CPR when she could not find a pulse. He then called the paramedics who were no more than 3 minutes away. They arrived with an AED and shocked her heart once, which gave her life back to her as her heart began to beat in normal rhythms again. Because of the swift response of all present, Paula had no side effects or brain damage.