A Raymore woman hopes her story of loss will prevent other families from experiencing tragedy.
Erin Reynolds' husband, John, died in June of 2013 at the age of 42. He had a heart condition that they didn’t know about at the time of his death.
Erin said a simple $50 test called a CardioScan could have saved his life.
John Reynolds went for a run on June 19, 2013 from their home in Raymore. He collapsed just around the corner from their home.
“He was 42,” Erin said. “He was completely healthy. He had just zero warnings that something was happening with his heart that would eventually take his life.”
Erin later found out he had a condition called Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, which she described as a hardening of the arteries.
“He exercised regularly, led a very healthy lifestyle,” she said. “None of the risk factors that you normally think of when you think of heart disease.”
However, Erin said John had not visited the doctor for two years. Life always got in the way, she said.
So on June 19, when he died, Erin said she immediately started researching how it could have happened.
“It's a tough pill to swallow to think about the fact that this $50 test, takes less than an hour of your time, could have identified this in John,” Erin said.
CardioScan is a test offered at St. Luke’s Hospital. Dr. Tracy Stevens said it’s a simple test that can give you a good baseline for your heart health.
“It's very simple, no needles and it's like a CAT scan that one goes through,” Dr. Stevens said. “It essentially treats you like a loaf of bread, takes slices through your heart, tells you if you have any plaque in your coronary arteries.”
Dr. Stevens said it’s incredibly important for people to be smart about their heart health and know if they have risk factors.
“Sudden death, related to heart attack, is one of the most common causes of death in Americans over the age of 35,” she said. “Heart disease can be the silent killer. It's sudden death. It's our first wakeup call.”
To help spread the word about CardioScan, Erin has set up a golf tournament in her husband’s name. The John Reynolds Memorial Golf Tournament is on Oct. 9, 2014, what would have been Erin and John’s 10 year wedding anniversary.
Proceeds will go to St. Luke’s Foundation to help promote CardioScan. Erin is also donating money raised to the Soaring Spirits Lost Foundation, an organization that helps people who lose their spouses.
“Sharing our story is a way to honor John and to heal our family and to prevent other families from going through this nightmare,” Erin said.
You can learn more about the John Reynolds Memorial Golf Tournament online.