To be honest, I struggled with what to write for the opening blog post on Quinn’s foundation site. I struggled with what to write, how to write it and knowing the pain it would cause as I hammered out words on my keyboard. I came to realize that what I should blog about is less about the past, more about what we can do to prevent another tragedy and how we can rally as family, friends and community around Quinn’s legacy.
On that ominous day of June 10, 2009, both Kelly and I agreed we would not let Quinn’s tragic death occur in vain. What became visible very quickly was the fact that Quinn’s death could have been prevented. In the hours, days, weeks and months since we lost Quinn, we have learned a great deal about the prevalence, dangers, detection and prevention of heart disease which causes Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) in young people. We as a family and now through our foundation are dedicated to the greater community to educate, detect and prevent the loss of another son or daughter to SCA.
As parents, we are wired to protect our children, keeping them out of harm’s way, guarding them against danger, instinctually keeping them healthy and happy. We learned through a very catastrophic lesson that all of the precautions, check up’s, physicals and measures to protect Quinn was not enough. How could that be? Every visit to the doctor, every sports physical and his outward healthy constitution indicated he was in great physical shape. He never complained about anything; he was rarely sick, colds and flu always seemed to pass him by and there was no indication that his heart was 2 times larger than average. No symptoms, no indications, no nothing. Quinn’s one and only symptom surrounding his disease was Sudden Cardiac Arrest.
Throughout the Quinn Driscoll Foundation web site we have provided a great deal of information about taking a pro-active approach to the early detection of heart disease in our youth. Please take a moment to read through this valuable and potentially lifesaving information. I cannot stress enough about the importance of this information. Understanding you family’s health history, not accepting standardized sports physicals as being comprehensive and challenging your family physicians/pediatricians to conduct routine heart screening s are paramount to saving lives.
We are also working in partnership with the Heart & Vascular Services team at Southwest Washington Medical Center to provide access to screening and testing services for the detection of heart disease in our youth. As that relationship continues to advance, we will provide additional information about testing and screening events.
Finally, we have discovered a great need in our community to provide automated external defibrillators (AED’s) to organizations who serve our youth but have no resources to afford the purchase of an AED. We will work with those organizations in need to provide them with AED’s through a grant process.
I will close by extending a warm and heartfelt thank you to our amazing community. Your support and love have not only helped us get through this tragic event, it’s provided us with the motivation to take action and continue Quinn’s legacy.