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Heart Screening our Youth – Why the Debate?

Posted on 04/07/2010 @ 01:29 PM

There is so much debate going back and forth on the issue of preventive heart screening.  In some cases, there is nothing wrong with healthy debate.  The problem with this particular debate is that while grown adults are bantering back and forth on the issue of preventive heart screening, our “seemingly healthy” children are DYING.

I hear a lot of things come out of this particular debate — for instance; the argument  I hate the most, “it’s rare”.  Tell that to the 7,000 parents who will lose their child/ children this year alone.  I guess, for some, maybe  it’s convenient to put the thousands of children who have gone before us in that category called “rare”.  It’s like throwing all the miscellaneous stuff that’s laying around the house in the closet when company is coming by so nobody sees the mess.  I’m sorry, no disrespect,  it’s just hard for me to justify 7,000 children, that researchers show each year, as rare.  It may also be convenient for some to just sit back and watch life pass them by because they don’t have an action plan or a possible solution.  That’s fine, but if you have no action plan, and there clearly needs to be one,  how do you then argue with someone who has an action plan that is voluntary, opt-in and free?  I guess maybe it’s a lot easier for some to talk a good ball game than actually get in the game.

A comment I heard recently was that just because someone has lost a child, like myself,  it doesn’t make them an expert at prevention.  In this case, it absolutely does!  It’s the parents who have lost children who are out there raising awareness, educating other parents to the insidiousness of this disease state and advocating preventive heart screening.  Tell a parent who has lost a child not to “try” to prevent this devastation from happening to another family; you’ve got a better chance of becoming President.  How many more children have to die today, tomorrow, next week, next year before we end the debate?  My answer to that is NONE.  It’s detectectable and treatable; why the debate?

As you can see, the debate is over for me.  If people start “facing” the facts instead of debating the facts, maybe more children will celebrate their birthdays this year!  Even if  it is just ONE, are’nt our children worth it?  Isn’t the “freedom of choice” worth it?

The following article was written by a mother who almost lost her son and writes how “being in the right place at the right time” saved her son.  This is what is “rare”.  Do we, as parents, want to rely on that scenario? – or rely on preventive heart screening along with reactive preparedness? – so that if  in fact  the event of the “god forbid” happens, we can now say we did all that we could do; not sit back, continue the debate and rely on “hope”.

Please take a moment to read Monzita Williams’ story.


I would have to agree that no test is 100% but that also includes other screening tests like mammograms given for early detection along with other screening tests, yet they are routinely given and no one debates them.  But to sit back and do nothing and watch our children die, as a parent, heck no!   –  Every time we lose a child we lose our future.  Why should they be left out of the equation of “early detection” from an ASYMPTOMATIC disease state, when the first symptom is more often than not ”death”, knowing it’s detectable and treatable?  Because it’s not cost-effective?  Because it’s considered rare by some?  Because some na-sayers of preventive heart screening say so?

I don’t think so.  So, while the debaters rage on and spin their wheels to nowhere, the SafeBeat Initiative will continue to move forward with the “freedom of choice” for those parents who see the merit of preventive heart screening for their own children’s well being and we “will” save and celebrate children’s lives and that for me is where the debate ends!