In May of 2009 Jack’s Daddy named David T. died of heart disease. David was a race car driver – and took first place in three states. He liked to sky dive. He loved to travel. The family traveled all over the world together – Italy, Greece, Turkey, Ireland, Holland, Denmark, England, and Scotland. David also took very good care of himself. He didn’t smoke or drink. He exercised everyday – even ran marathons. He had a healthy diet. But sometimes that is not enough.
When Jack was only 6 months old, his Daddy started having trouble breathing. First the doctors thought he had a chest infection. Then they thought maybe he had asthma. For a couple of months the doctors tried all kinds of medicine to see if they could help him feel better, but nothing worked. As things started getting worse, David was admitted to a hospital for 5 days where they did over 40 different tests to try and figure out what was causing the problem.
On December 21, 2005, right before Christmas, They figured it out. The formal name of the disease was an IGA Multiple Myeloma with a System Amyloidosis. Jack’s Daddy’s body fought really hard to try and kill this infection. The way our bodies fight infections is produce protein or antibodies. Unfortunately though, the protein hardened and settled in his heart. For your heart to stay healthy, blood has to come into your heart and then go back out to the rest of your body.
David’s heart wasn’t strong enough to get the blood and oxygen out to the other parts of his body. In medical terms, this is called an ejection fraction, and David’s was so bad the doctors told his family he only had 6 months to live. Within 2 weeks of being told this, the rubber band snapped and his heart stopped completely. The doctors rushed him into emergency heart surgery – where they put a computer in his heart. This computer in his heart is called a Pacemaker Defibrillator.
Jack’s Mom did some research and found a doctor that felt he could help Jack’s Daddy by taking salt out of his diet. Instead of living less than 6 months, because of the computer in his heart and the changes they made to his diet he was able to live for another 3.5 years.
Jack lost his Daddy to heart disease, and he and his Mom support the American Heart Association because they believe the research funding helped Jack’s Dad live longer. It’s hard for a little boy to grow up without a Daddy so they want to spread the word and support the AHA so other little boys and girls won’t lose their Daddy too.