Aa
Aa
A
A
A
Close
Avatar universal

Son Has Heart Problems

My son is 16 turning 17 in a few months, within in the past few months he has been admitted to the hospital for heart problems. He often collapses as well as having surgery 4 times to fix his heart condition. He told me that he can feel his heart skipping a beat and i am worried. His cardiologist says he has bradycardia. Is this why his heart is reacting? What can i do as a parent???
42 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
1807132 tn?1318743597
I am sorry to hear about all of your sons troubles.  We aren't doctors here so any advice we give is based on personal experience only.  Bradycardia is a slow heart beat.  It is possible the slowness of the beat is making it feel like his heart is skipping or it is possible he is also experiencing some ectopics.  This are errant beats arising from different areas of the heart that disrupt the normal beat cycle.  They aren't dangerous in an otherwise healthy heart.  What sort of condition was your son treated for?  If it is an ongoing condition I would ask the doctor for a holter to get an accurate reading of what his heart is doing to find out if he is even having ectopics or something else and if it is dangerous due to his condition.  What did the doctor say about the bradycardia?    I would say if your son is still collapsing to keep on top of this.  Do you know why he is collapsing?  Can I ask what his bp is?  Low bp can cause people to pass out and sometimes adding a little salt to the diet can help.  Also sometimes adding some caffeine to the diet can help with the bradycardia but considering your son may have some underlying health issues consult the doctor before you do anything.  Take care.  I hope you son feels better soon.  Keep us posted on how he is doing.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
my son has been fighting this since he was 5. He is involved in many sports 8 in fact. His bp if i am correct is 145/250.  My son is 173 lbs and stands 6'7. He collapses because he does cross country and my wife and i try to get himout of it. He goes to the dr this week, His bradycardia has gotten better about 10% in the past year. He does well in school and he is talented at many things.
Helpful - 0
1807132 tn?1318743597
The bp doesn't sound right.  Normal bp is 120/80 the first number generally tending to be bigger so it could be 250/145 but that is extremely high and I would think he would be on bp meds if that was the case so I am thinking that is probably not right either.  Well, cross country doesn't really cause someone to pass out.  He is passing out while doing it which is a sign he has exercise intolerance for some reason.  Has his cardiologist cleared him to exercise?  Well it is good he is going to see the doctor.  Collapsing is something you will want to keep on top of.  Good luck and keep us posted on how he is doing.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Sorry about not posting about my son for awhile, but he`s doing well right now. His bp is normal, and his doctor is limiting him to play only 4 sports which he hates. However, his cardiologist thinks he should have a valve replacement. With 11 other kids, and one who has a minor case of Autism holds us back from helping him. We can't afford it, as a father I'll do what I can for him, before he turns 18 next March. However, my son is average. Eventhough he is ill, he still acts like a maniac like he is. He is my wifes and my living miracle.
Ill tell more info soon,
Helpful - 0
1807132 tn?1318743597
I am glad to hear he is doing well but please make sure he follows the doctors advice about his exercise limits.  It is better to be safe than sorry.  Wow, 11 kids is a lot to take care of.  I look forward to hearing more from you. Take care.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Jay (my son) is following his exercise limits for now at least. He learned his lesson about a week ago when was running to train for his soccer try outs I was there but I was helping my 12 year old daughter practice tennis then my daughter keep on saying "dad, Jay is yelling for you." I look up and See my son on the ground. It was a major scare, knowing my son has some minor exercise intolereances. As I ran over to him, he was getting more pale by the minute. My daughter was a great help by calling an ambulance to help him, Which was a great help. Since, I could have lost him that night. Until then I don't want him to exercising to much.
My wife and I do have 11 kids but three of them are out of the house raising for there own family
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I just noticed that you say your boy is 6' 7" and weighs 173.  That's an extraordinarily tall and slender kid.

Has any doctor suggested that he might have what's called Marfan Syndrome?  It is associated with unusual height and slenderness, and there can be problems with the heart and circulatory system.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Your child has obviously been deeing a pediatric cardiologist for several years; has he been evaluated by an EP Specialist to really have a good look at his heart's electrical system? What is going on with your son does not sound normal at all. You say he has bradycardia, how slow is his heart rate? (at awake periods and at sleep?) Being an athlete, it would be normal to have a slower heart rate; it's not normal for him to be hitting the floor. Does he need a pacemaker? I would certainly be asking about that along with seeing an EP Specialist. My daughter was diagnosed with Sick Sinus Syndrome when she was 6 years old (along with other heart issues) and at 8 had to have a pacer implanted. Her awake heart rates were in the 30's range and we were told her heart could stop beating with rates that low. The first thing I thought of with your son's physical description was also Marfan's Syndrome; has anyone looked into that?
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Forgot to say: I would pull him from EVERY sport until he has had a REALLY GOOD evaluation; it doesn't sound like that has been done yet. If you can see if you can get him into a good medical facility at a top University Hospital; they see kids like him all the time and their expertise is on a much higher level. They also usually have finacial aid options to help families as well.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
No, I haven't had the full time to, since I'm a photographer some nights I spend nights out and Stay home at day while my wife works a day shift at a local hospital. His coach for soccer says he's required to gain 30 pounds by the third game or he cannot play. 
His Cardiologist Now thinks he needs a new heart valve and I have no clue why. My son isn't a huge fan of eating food an at times my wife has to force him to eat. I forgot to mention, back in 1985, My wife and I had twin boys, My wife and I discovered our first son had a hole in his heart. The surgery all went well for him. He was an amazing older brother to our son who has the heart condition now. In 2001, He had a pacemaker implanted due to Bradycardia and he didn't make it through the surgery. 
The thought of it still gives me the chills, I don't want it to happen to my son, Our family would be destroyed again. Making him quit sports to him is making him stop breathing.
This is all confusing to me!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
To us also!

You say your son 'often collapses as well as having surgery 4 times to fix his heart condition'.   This is a big deal, but we don't have the reason behind it all.

These surgeries would not have been done if he did not have a diagnosis--a name for his heart condition.  As his parent, you must have signed the consent forms for these surgeries, so someone must have told you what the diagnosis was and explained to you why the surgeries were needed.

Can you tell us that?
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
this one time he had to have  two procedures done because he couldnt stay stable enough for the surgery the first time
He has had surgery two times for something clogged, I'm not aware because I wasn't there the whole time. The one was for a leaky aortic valve
The last one Was for a blood clot to the heart,
I'm not 100% sure how this leads his issue
Mainly my wife takes him for medical help since she's already a doctor.  
Helpful - 0
1807132 tn?1318743597
My heart goes out to you.   You have been through a lot with the one son and now a 2nd son with heart problems.  It sounds like maybe something hereditary is going on.  Maybe your wife is trying to protect you being a doctor and all.  I send prayers yours and your son's way that he is able to get his heart into a stable state and lead a long productive life.  Take care and stay strong.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
You sound as though you would like to understand what is going on.  Since you wife is a doctor, perhaps she would be willing to sit down with you and explain it all in a way that would make sense.  I'm sure she is in a better position to do that than we are.

I wish we could do more.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thank you for your prayers my wife had explained everything to me and now I understand everything. We got a university hospital to get him examination  and I'll tell more detail when that happens
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
my son is doing much better, he's went  for surgery for a pacemaker today and his cardiologist hopes this stops his bradycardia. After that, his cardiologist will see what else Is wrong.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I hope your son gets better. we are here to share our stories and support one another. however, one thing i dont understand is for  someone in his condition, why is he playing eight sports in the first place? research has shown that exercise is good for the heart no matter what the condition is, but one needs to realize when it's too much. he needs to know exactly what's wrong and why he keeps passing out when his heart is under stress, before he keeps on competing. some people with bad heart conditions live long lives because they follow their doctors advices and maintain a healthy lifestyle. i hope your kid would do the same.
Helpful - 0
1807132 tn?1318743597
I am glad to hear things are going well.  It sounds like things are heading in the right direction.  I do hope that the pacemaker does the trick and keeps your son healthy and strong.  Has the doctor mentioned anything about his sports?  Please do keep me posted on how he is doing.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hello again :)
I, too, am glad tohear your son has been doing better and that he has had a pacer implanted as well as being evaluated by a university hospital. With a pacer, contact sports are usually stopped because the wires can be broken. On a side note: there is a Pediatric Cardiology Support Forum on this site as well for parents. Take care
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
thank you, my sondid get restricted from contact sports which he actually hates for it. He plays 8 sports because plays 2 per season. One for school And another for a club. My son thinks he could still play some sports, but he has to give up lacrosse which kills him. Ive never really liked him doing so much athletics but I just kept my mouth shut to avoid and arguement. My son said "I really dont need the pacemaker dad, I don't need it." That's all he ever says now, with that I don't know what to actually do.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I'm sorry you are having to deal with this situation. One of the hard parts about dealing with a teen going through the teen years is that they all feel they will live forever. You made mention that the son ou lost was a great big brother and that he died as a result of a pacemaker proceedure; can you just imagine how scared your son was prior to having the pacemaker put in? As long as he was in sports, he saw himself as being strong, there's no way he could possibly have the same issue as his older brother, an issue that killed him. Now he is faced with being unable to do the sports that makes him feel strong. If he is passing out, botton line, he NEEDS that pacer. When he is awake his heart rates are below 40 beats a minute (which many people have) can you imagine how much slower his heart rates were while he was sleeping? Houston told me that y daughter's awake heart rates were in the 30's range and while she had pre-syncope, she never passed out before her pacer was implanted. They also tod me that rates that low could cause the heart to stop beating altogether. Your son may not realize it, but he is VERY lucky to be alive today. With our society's overboard love affair with sports your son is a classic example of what is becoming so wrong with this picture: sports are more important than life! Take care (on a side note: there is also a parents support group here on MedHelp under the title of Pediatric Cardiology Forum which is NOT the expert forum)  
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
His rate awake used to be 43, and when he slept they were down to his low 30s. He was really scared before the surgery and he denies it even though my wife rachael and I already knew about it long ago. Jay couldn't sleep afterwords either, a dr had to give him something too, but he thinks something isnt right. He grew up on athletics having brothers being allstars he hates his days are gone.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hello again. I can tell you that he wasn't passing out with rates of 43 beats a minutes it probably was dropping much lower than that; there are MANY people walking around with rates in the 40's range ( I saw it all the time when I worked as a tech). I could be that your son has Sick Sinus Syndrome where the sinus node that sends the primary first impulse down through the heart was "sick' and could not keep up with the exercising your son was doing while participating in all of ythe sports activities. Have to go for now. Take care!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
He really hates everything now. He hasn't talked to me or my wife ever since yesterday when we both said contact sports are over for him.  Im afraid of what he's going to do to himself
Helpful - 0
2
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Heart Rhythm Community

Top Arrhythmias Answerers
1807132 tn?1318743597
Chicago, IL
1423357 tn?1511085442
Central, MA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Are there grounds to recommend coffee consumption? Recent studies perk interest.
Salt in food can hurt your heart.
Get answers to your top questions about this common — but scary — symptom
How to know when chest pain may be a sign of something else
Herpes sores blister, then burst, scab and heal.
Herpes spreads by oral, vaginal and anal sex.