Save Lives with Simon’s Heart

simon's heart
photo courtesy of Simon’s Heart

In 2004, a little boy named Simon Sudman was born. He weighed almost seven pounds and had an APGAR score of eight and nine. He was 50% for weight and 25% for height. At seven weeks, Simon smiled for the first time. He died 47 days later. The initial diagnosis was sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

What happened next is the reason that Simon’s Heart is here today. The pediatrician told Phyllis and Darren Sudman to get their hearts checked, and Phyllis was diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome (LQTS). This condition has been linked to up to 15% of all SIDS deaths and is one of several conditions that cause sudden cardiac arrest in children.

The Sudmans started Simon’s Heart so that no other parent would lose a child to a detectable and treatable heart condition.

It’s not something that parents of young children want to consider: an undiagnosed heart condition and the chance of a life-threatening event. As a culture, we tend to think about heart disease as a ‘grown-up’ problem, or a health issued tied inextricably to obesity or inactivity. But that’s not always the case.  

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death for student-athletes in America. Sometimes there are overlooked warning signs; other times, it can seem to come out of the blue. Knowing about or treating these conditions can mean the difference between life and death.

And that’s the mission of Simon’s Heart: to prevent as many unnecessary deaths as possible.

photo courtesy of Simon’s Heart

It’s a simple idea, but one that has many facets, especially for a health problem as misunderstood as sudden cardiac arrest in children.   

That’s why Simon’s Heart works on multiple fronts.

Free Screenings
Simon’s Heart has provided over 18,000 free screenings to date, which have resulted in over one-hundred diagnoses.

AED devices
Automated External Defibrillators are the best tool available to save the life of a young athlete suffering from sudden cardiac arrest. Simon’s Heart has donated over one-hundred of these life-saving devices.

Simon’s Heart produced an educational video to help coaches everywhere recognize the signs of sudden cardiac arrest. The video has been viewed by over 750,000 coaches, teachers, and parents around the country.    

Simon’s heart is doing incredible work all over the country to help save children’s lives, and you can help! If you’re in the Philadelphia area, consider joining them at North Bowl for Simon’s Soireé, a night of bowling and celebration to support everything Simon’s Heart does to protect kids.

But if that’s too far of a trip, consider buying some popcorn using code SIMON, and half of your purchase will go directly to Simon’s Heart and the life-saving work they do.  

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