Dr Oz: Infant’s Death Inspired Simon’s Fund To Check Kids’ Hearts


Dr Oz: Infant’s Death Lead To Life-Saving Organization

Dr Oz shared how a devastating tragedy sent one couple on a life-changing mission. It was October 21, 2004 when Simon Sudman was born. Simon smiled for he first time at 7 weeks, but just 47 days later, Simon was put down for a nap and never woke up. Simon’s devastated parents searched for answers, and eventually he was diagnosed with SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome. SIDS is basically a term used when they don’t know anything else.

Their pediatrician ended up telling them to get their hearts checked because “babies just don’t die.” They learned that Phyllis had a congenital heart defect, which was a defect that Simon apparently inherited. Simon was just one of thousands of kids who die of sudden cardiac arrest each year. Phyllis said everyone needs to know that sudden cardiac arrest doesn’t just happen to adults; it can happen to kids too.


Dr Oz: Simon’s Fund Helping Check Kids’ Hearts

Dr Oz: Infant's Death Inspired Simon's Fund To Check Kids' Hearts

Dr Oz talked to a couple who lost their infant son, and were inspired to start Simon’s Fund to help screen children for heart defects. ([email protected] / flickr)

Phyllis and Darren took action, starting Simon’s Fund in their son’s honor, to provide children with free heart screenings, sponsor medical research, and raise awareness for sudden cardiac arrest. They’re all conditions that are detectable and treatable, which is why it’s so important to do what they’re doing. If they would have known, Simon would be there. “Simon saved my life,” Phyllis said. “And it should have been the reverse.”

Darren and Phyllis joined Dr Oz and shared that losing Simon was devastating, but they had to find a way to keep his memory alive. They want to get the message out there so that no other family has to go through what they went through. Darren said we take our hearts for granted in America. He said heart conditions are one of the most prevalent birth defects and are responsible for a lot of kids dying.


Dr Oz: Continuing Simon’s Legacy

Dr Oz then shared that since 2005, Simon’s Fund has checked more than 10,000 children’s hearts. Of those kids checked, nearly 100 of them were screened, meaning all those kids had their lives potentially saved. The very first child saved by the screening was Melissa Fair, and her heart condition was detected seven years ago, when she was just 10 years old. She was actually there to meet Phyllis and Darren.

Phyllis said it made her emotional because Melissa actually had surgery on the third anniversary of Simon’s death. Melissa said every time she looks in the mirror, she remembers how lucky she is, and she and her family will always be grateful to Simon’s Fund for saving her life. In the fall, she will be attending Penn State University and she hopes to continue the work they started by setting up heart screenings there in the community. She’s excited to check hearts and save lives.

How did reading Simon’s story make you feel? Do you plan on donating to Simon’s Fund?

Dr Oz: More Attractive After Drinking Wine

Before the end of the show, Dr Oz shared that we all know the term beer goggles, but he wanted to introduce a new one: wine glasses. British researchers showed pictures of a series of models who were either sober or who had consumed a glass of wine. The models who had drank a glass of wine looked more attractive than the sober models.

The theory is that the allure comes from increased blood flow and facial flushing. Another theory is that the wine boosted the spirits of the models, making them more relaxed. The models who drank two glasses, however, were not viewed as more attractive, which means you only need one glass!


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