October is Sudden Cardiac Awareness Month
Does your child have a ticking time bomb in their chest?
Eighteen years ago, Sharon Bates didn’t know there was one in her son’s chest waiting to go off. She got the phone call no parent ever wants to receive, telling her that her only child, Anthony, had died suddenly of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), otherwise known as an enlarged heart. Though he was a seemingly healthy college athlete and had 25 pre-participation sports physicals throughout his life, his disease was never detected. ECGs (Electrocardiograms – also known as, EKG’s) were never part of a pre-participation physical, nor are they required now. From this tragedy, Sharon channeled her pain, anger, and frustration to create the Anthony Bates Foundation (ABF) in 2002. Since then, ABF has been dedicated to saving young lives through the early detection of HCM because, Sharon Bates believes, “No parent should suffer the heartbreak of losing a child to an undiagnosed cardiac malady.”
Why is ABF’s work so important? October has been designated as Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness month. ABF’s life-saving mission is to provide crucial cardiac screenings for ages 10 and up, as well as establish a nationwide cardiac screening program for youth, addressing the public health issue through education, collaboration and facilitation. ABF is the only organization screening our nation’s youth with a copyrighted training protocol, as well as a collection mechanism of epidemiological data which provides valuable information for researchers and medical professionals. In addition, ABF donates Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) to area schools along with AED operation and CPR training.
Since its inception in 2002, ABF has screened over 14,000 people, with 13 percent of those showing cardiac anomaly. Half of the findings are considered potentially life threatening and need immediate follow-up. How valuable are your loved ones’ lives?
ABF provides cardiac screenings events for organizations like businesses, medical offices, places of worship, schools, clubs or athletic studios. As long as there’s space for it, any organization can host an ABF event. CPR/AED training sessions and Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) education are hugely important to protecting the community.
ABF conducts cardiac screenings, providing both low cost access to healthcare and preventive cardiac tests to the public in Phoenix and the surrounding communities all over Arizona. Participants receive noninvasive cardiac tests, including ECGs, Echocardiograms (also known as Ultrasound) and blood pressure readings conducted by volunteer medical professionals. During large screening events, a Board-Certified Cardiologist reviews the results with each participant. Small screening event results are sent to the cardiologist after the event and reviewed within a week and participants are notified within another week. If a test result contains evidence of a heart abnormality or other health concern, they are referred to their family doctor first to receive treatment or referral for additional follow up treatment. Most people can get screened in about 30 minutes. Is a half hour of your time worth the peace of mind of knowing you and your family’s hearts are healthy?
ABF is leading the way! Earlier in 2018, ABF expanded their world headquarters to an office on 32nd Street and Shea. The need for a larger office space was imperative. As Sharon states, “It has given ABF the ability to expand into medical research. Utilizing college interns, the research program will support research projects with University of Arizona and Kansas State University. Efforts are underway to capture additional data and research with Morris Institute within Arizona State University.”
For more information on her worthy cause or to register for one of their upcoming screenings, please visit the website at www.AnthonyBates.org.
ABF is a fully credited non-profit organization and tax deductible donations and company sponsorships help them to continue their life saving work. Feel free to contact the organization at 602-482-5606 if you have additional questions or would like to get involved.