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This AMA tugs at the heartstrings while simultaneously being extremely uplifting and inspirational. The gentleman answering the questions suffers from a rare heart condition called Brugada Syndrome. The condition is also known as — and can be the major cause of — Unexpected Sudden Death Syndrome (USDS). And it’s just as crappy as it sounds.
Basically, it’s a condition where you can suddenly have a lethal arrhythmia out of nowhere and with seemingly no cause. Unlike people with traditional heart problems — such as cardiovascular disease — he can still basically do anything he wants.
Being so young and having this condition has to be extremely scary to live with every day. At least it would be for me. But after just 2 years since his initial diagnosis, he seems to be handling it like a God damn trooper. I’ll let the OP (original poster) and the Reddit community take it from here.
Here is a little snippet from OP.
The doctor came in and said words that I will never forget. “Mark, I believe you have a condition that I am going to take very seriously. It is called Brugada Syndrome. I know you have never heard of it before, but get used to that name because you will never forget it from this day forward.” He was right. This scared me. I stood up and asked for a drink of water. The doctor opened the door, and immediately I had 8-10 nurses staring darts at me as I looked out of the room, white as a sheet. He asked one of them to grab a cup of water, to which 5 of them jumped out of their seats to say “Oh, I will.” They were aware of my diagnosis before I was. The doctor told me that I would need immediate surgery to implant a ICD (Implantable Cardiac Defibrillator) into my chest to “Shock you back to life, when you go into Cardiac Arrest.” To be told at 20 years old that you can/will die suddenly without warning, at any moment, is a lot to handle to say the least.
After two weeks of wearing a device that tracks my heart rate at all times, 24 hours a day, by a few people who is payed to watch it constantly in shifts across the country in Virginia somewhere. I had heart surgery to implant my defibrillator. What I was happily not aware of, was that this procedure required me to be awake and that they would have to stop my heart twice and allow the defibrillator to revive me in order to test the machine. The doctors told me that the severity of the condition was going to be based upon how easily they could stop my heart.