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2014 Kentuckiana Heart Walk

September 20, 2014

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Introducing Lynn Tincher, the 2014 Red Cap Ambassador!

At the ripe old age of 23, Lynn was walking back from a neighborís house when she had some chest pain along with the feeling of a heart flutter. Her husband rushed her to the hospital. While there, the doctors said that everything looked fine, but wanted her to wear a heart monitor home overnight. The results of that, however, were not as promising. It showed that at 2:00 in the morning, while Lynn was sound asleep, her heart dropped down to 55 and then jumped to an average of 275 beats per minute. The doctors said that was astonishing and promptly put Lynn on Lopressor and Lanoxin; one medication to slow the heart down and one to make it beat stronger. Nothing helped. The flutter continued. Finally, Lynn was weaned from the medications, as they had no effect. Lynn had to come to grips that she would just have to deal. She learned that lying on the floor with her feet up helped during an episode. Over time, this seemed to get better.

By a stroke of luck, if you could call it that, Lynnís mother, Shirley, was in the hospital with the flu. During her time there, the doctors believed she had a heart attack due to some medications she was taking. This was not the case. Luckily, the cardiologist on call was Dr. Michael Springer, an expert in Brugada Syndrome, and he noticed something peculiar in her EKG. Shirley went through study after study, blood tests, and genetic tests to finally confirm her diagnosis of Brugada Syndrome. Brugada is a rare and fatal genetic heart disease that is characterized by sudden death associated with one of several ECG patterns. It usually strikes when the individual is asleep. It may even be associated with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Later, during a routine EKG at Lynnís family physician, Dr. Siraj Siddiqi noticed the same pattern in Lynnís EKG. Off to Dr. Springer she went. In September 2010, after twenty years of dealing with an undiagnosed heart problem, in and out of hospitals and doctorís offices, stress tests, blood tests and crying herself to sleep night after night, Lynn was finally diagnosed with Brugada Syndrome. During her drive home from Dr. Springerís office, the news fresh in her mind and tears streaming down her face, she called the father of her two nearly grown children to tell him the kids needs testing right away! Luckily, so far, they both look to be okay.

To date the only treatment that has proven to be effective is the implantation of an automatic implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD), which Lynn had installed in October of 2010. The average age of death is 42 and Lynn and Shirley have already surpassed the milestone! Lynn is determined to help spread the word about this rare and deadly disease so that more research is done to find a cure and others may find their diagnosis.

The American Heart Association is the largest voluntary health organization working to prevent, treat and defeat heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. These diseases, the Nation's No.1 and No.4 killers, claim more than 813,804 American lives a year. Thanks to all our walkers, donors and volunteers who have accepted the challenge to help fight heart disease and stroke. We cannot achieve our mission without each one of you!

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