Seth Ball: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

From a “Ticking Time Bomb” to a Normal Life Expectancy

Who do you picture when you think of people with heart disease?

You probably would not picture Seth, a 9-year-old boy. But Seth was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) as an infant, and he will live with heart disease for his entire life.

A Rare Diagnosis

HCM is an inherited heart disease that affects approximately one in 500 Americans. The majority of people with HCM have no symptoms, are never diagnosed and suffer no negative effects, yet it is the most common cause of sudden death in the young, especially in athletes.

Seth’s heart was monitored closely for the first years of his life, until his condition deteriorated at the age of six. Seth’s parents feared the worst. They began carrying an automated external defibrillator (AED) with them everywhere in case he went into sudden cardiac arrest.

Innovative Surgery Provides Hope

Scared and worried, Seth’s parents persisted in finding the best care for their son. Ultimately, they came to the Minneapolis Heart Institution Foundation® (MHIF).

After a consultation, he underwent a septal myectomy, which is a surgery to remove the enlarged tissue dividing the chambers of his heart. He also had an internal cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) implanted. Now, if his heart ever goes into cardiac arrest, the ICD will immediately shock it back into rhythm, ultimately saving his life.

A Normal Life

Seth will need monitoring and care as he ages, but his prognosis is excellent. He enjoys playing with his brothers and participating in team sports, activities his family once thought impossible.