Girl,7, Gets Illness That Usually Affects Elderly People
This untypical story happened to little girl who got an illness that usually affects elderly people. Each morning, 27 year old Brooke Abate helped her two children to get ready for school. One morning, the Abate families routine was completely shattered after her 7 year old daughter, Brooke suddenly got sick. While she was in the bathroom, Jayla suddenly passed out and fell over.
Brooke was frantic with worry when she could not wake up her daughter. Jayla was “white and unresponsive,” so Brooke called for emergency services. Jayla was rushed to the hospital, where she regained consciousness. The doctors decided that she just had a minor virus, so after a few days, Jayla went home again.
Unfortunately, Jayla did not recover as quickly as the Abates hoped she would. She kept fainting at random times. The family took Jayla to many doctors, but none of them knew what was happening. Jayla did not show any symptoms besides random fainting spells. The rest of the time she seemed mostly healthy. One doctor even dismissed Brooke’s concerns and told her Jayla was faking it for attention.
Despite the doctors telling her not to worry, Brooke knew something was wrong. One day, Jayla told her mom, “I just want you to know I love you,” before passing out. Brooke got scared that this time her daughter might be dying. She insisted that the doctors examine Jayla again. This time, the family finally got an answer.
It turned out that Jayla had sick sinus syndrome. This problem normally only happens to very elderly people, so no doctors thought to check for it. This is a very rare condition that happens when the sinus node of the heart stops working. The sinus node is supposed to regulate the rhythm of the heart. If it malfunctions, the heart can beat too fast, beat too slow, or stop beating at random times.
Jayla’s sick sinus syndrome was causing her heart to randomly stop beating. This made her pass out from lack of oxygen, and she would look very pale. The normal treatment for sick sinus syndrome is to install a pacemaker that can regulate heart beats. Though this treatment is not normally done for little children, the doctors decided it was necessary for Jayla.
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The pacemaker surgery went well, and Jayla started to recover. She does not faint as much now, but she is still not entirely healthy. Jayla still is recovering from infections that appeared at the site of the surgery, and she has trouble sleeping. She often refuses to go to bed because she is scared of fainting again. Her family is still worried that the stress and anxiety of her condition is affecting her. However, they are glad that she is finally diagnosed with a condition that is treatable.
The danger of sick sinus syndrome is that it often has few symptoms. People may just feel a little tired, dizzy, or lightheaded. Sometimes, such as in Jayla’s case, people may pass out due to reduced blood flow. Symptoms tend to come and go, so it is hard for doctors to discover what is wrong. Normally, sick sinus syndrome gradually develops over time and only becomes apparent after the age of 70. If left untreated, sick sinus syndrome can cause heart failure or other heart issues to develop.
Fortunately for the Abate family, Jayla’s very rare heart condition was diagnosed in time. Now the only thing they have to worry about is covering their medical expenses. Since they got into an accident, neither Brooke or or her husband can work. They have set up a GoFundMe account to accept charitable donations. So far, they have not reached their fundraising goal, but they remain hopeful.