Jimmy’s dad and I adopted Jimmy when he was six weeks old. He was born with a cleft palette and other conditions that required repeated PE tubes and almost nonstop antibiotic use. His autism and Attention Deficit Disorder became apparent when he was very young.

We used numerous pharmaceuticals throughout his childhood and early adolescence, but eventually stopped using all medications when Jimmy was a teenager.

When he was 25, he was in a swimming pool with friends (not diving in or doing anything strenuous) and had a cardiac arrest.  When he was pulled from the pool, he was blue with no pulse. An emergency room RN (nurse) just happened to be at the pool and did CPR until the EMS (ambulance) arrived and transported him to the hospital.

He was in the ICU for several days, while we were unsure if he would survive.  We were concerned about pneumonia from all the water he ingested and also about possible neurological damage because of the time he had been without oxygen.

Fortunately, he survived without permanent damage.

The emergency room cardiologist questioned us about possible Long QT Syndrome, but we had no family history of Jimmy’s birth parents, so there was a lot of confusion and many questions.

We did genetic testing which eventually confirmed Jimmy’s Long QT diagnosis.

Ironically, Jimmy never had outwardly obvious symptoms of long QT during his childhood and early adolescence when he was taking numerous medications that we now know are contraindicated for his condition.

We will always be grateful for the ER nurse who administered CPR while awaiting the EMS personnel. Without her, I fear that the outcome might have been very different.