Allison Perry

UK Pediatric Heart Patient and Athlete Embraces A New Sport After Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Published: Jan 3, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 3, 2013) ­– Fifteen-year-old UK patient Ben Highland is looking forward to playing golf for his high school – an opportunity that wouldn’t have been possible without the quick intervention and teamwork of both good Samaritans and his medical team.

 

On Feb. 6, 2012, Ben suffered a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and collapsed at the end of his baseball practice at Lafayette High School in Lexington. An SCA occurs when blood flow stops due to the heart failing to contract properly – and when these rare incidents happen, immediate treatment is necessary for the patient to have any chance for survival.

 

Jenni Williams, the UK Sports Medicine athletic trainer assigned to Lafayette, was at the practice and used a defibrillator on Ben. A local nurse – who just happened to be out walking with her husband and witnessed the incident – stopped to provide CPR assistance until paramedics arrived.

 

Ben was taken to UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital and placed on life support. He eventually stabilized, though he remained unconscious for several days.

 

“Initially, it was just a waiting game,” said Roy Highland, Ben’s father. “[The doctors] said that ‘things look great, he’s doing good, but we don’t know – we can’t really say that he’s going to be okay.’”

 

It was an incredibly scary and trying time for the family and friends of the previously perfectly healthy young athlete. “I had a doctor tell me that I had a two percent chance of my son surviving, and a two percent chance of me having my son as I knew him,” said Carey Highland, Ben’s mother. “So they kind of prepared you for the worst… but I never gave in.”

 

When Ben finally woke up, his initial memory loss and hallucinations worried his parents.

 

“He would associate things that were normal for him with things that were abnormal,” Roy said. “So he thought, at one point, that he was on a train, and we were going to a baseball game, and he was worried he didn’t have his uniform with him… he was very agitated.”

 

Those days were fraught with worry and tension – Ben was awake, but would he be able to fully recover both physically and mentally?

 

But on the fourth day in, he began regaining his bearings, Carey says. “We all took a sigh of relief – ‘he finally realizes where he is!’”

 

Ben himself remembers little of the incident or its aftermath.

 

“I really don’t remember anything – people tell me stuff, so I think I remember it,” Ben said. “But I don’t really know.”

 

He spent 12 days at Kentucky Children's Hospital, and then stayed home for only a week before returning to school. In the 10 months since the incident, life has slowly normalized. He has been cleared to play sports, albeit with some restrictions – he can’t lift extremely heavy weight or let his heart rate get too high, and he has to avoid activities that could potentially involve heavy physical contact, due to the implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) in his chest.

 

The ICD is a small device that uses electrical pulses to help control life-threatening arrhythmias – if Ben’s heart develops an abnormal rhythm again, the ICD will deliver a shock to ‘reset’ his rhythm.

 

Though baseball had always been his sport of choice, since the incident Ben says he’s lost interest in pursuing that particular extra-curricular activity.

 

“I never got that definite answer, ‘No more baseball,’” Ben says. “But I had so many restrictions, it just wasn’t fun anymore.”

 

It was then that Ben’s grandfather suggested he take up a new sport, one that didn’t have so many restrictions – golf. Though Ben was initially reluctant, he decided to give it a try and began taking lessons twice a week – and discovered that he really liked it. He’s been working on his game since July and plans to put in some serious practice over the winter so that he can try out for the golf team at Henry Clay High School.

 

Though he’s only been playing since mid-summer, Ben says he feels confident about his ability to master the sport.

 

“I’m already a lot better than I used to be,” he said. 

 

Meanwhile, Ben’s doctors are working on determining a conclusive diagnosis for what caused Ben’s SCA. His heart is healthy and structurally sound, according to UK pediatric electrophysiologist Dr. Anna Kamp, who sees Ben on a regular basis.

 

“His heart, by imaging studies, is completely normal,” Kamp says. “So we think he may just have an abnormality in the electrical conduction system of his heart, which is sometimes harder to define and give a diagnosis to. But the benefit of that, at least for him, is that his heart muscle function is good and quite normal.”

 

Despite what he’s been through – and the possibility of future SCAs that will require a shock – Ben maintains a positive outlook. He continues to attend school and his golf lessons and tries to lead as normal of a life as possible. He and his parents also make a point to try to visit other young SCA patients in the hospital, just to offer some comfort and support to others who are experiencing what they went through.

 

“I actually had someone come visit me who had been through the same thing when I was in the hospital,” Ben said. “And it made me feel like I was going to be ok.”

 

He says the most common questions he gets from the patients he visits are about his ICD. He’ll have to wear the device for the rest of his life, and though Ben and his parents say they’ll always wonder if or when the device will go off, it also comforts them to know that the ICD is there to help when it’s needed.

 

Nevertheless, Ben also says he thinks it’s “cool” that he has the device because it makes him unique among his classmates – and he’s even given it a nickname.

 

“I named it Sparky,” Ben said. “It just kinda hit me, that [the ICD] can shock me, so I thought that was a pretty cool name – Sparky.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

ben_1.jpgben2.jpg
April
 
 
1
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
UK Baseball vs. Louisville
Kentucky Children's Garden Spring Break Special!
Pinterest Party #2
Tue
2
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
LNFS presents Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Men's Tennis vs. Illinois
UK Softball vs. Louisville
UK Men's Tennis vs. Northern Kentucky
Kentucky Children's Garden Spring Break Special!
Student Health Advisory Council Meeting
Best Practices for Tree Planting and Establishment Class 2
Selecting the Right Tree for Your Landscape Class 1
#TrendingTopics: It's Not Easy Being Green
Wed
3
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
UK Toastmasters
Kentucky Children's Garden Spring Break Special!
Thu
4
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
UK Softball vs. Texas A&M
UK Baseball vs. Florida
Kentucky Children's Garden Spring Break Special!
Creoles Topopholia
Religion & Politics in Anxious States
Exploring, Remixing, Analyzing: Teaching History with Digital Media
Cormac O'Grada - "The Nature of Famines"
"The Nature of Famines," Committee on Social Theory Public Lecture
Building a Rain Garden: Collaborative Effort with UK
Fri
5
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
UK Baseball vs. Florida
UK Softball vs. Texas A&M
Bluegrass Bazaar
Sat
6
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
UK Baseball vs. Florida
UK Softball vs. Texas A&M
Ride the Legacy
UK Men's Tennis vs. Vanderbilt
Sun
7
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Boxes & Walls: Oppression through History
Mon
8
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Explore Leadership Workshops
Boxes & Walls: Oppression through History
Job Club: Research Your Target Organization Before the Interview: What to Know and How to Find Out
#UK Kicks Butts Day
UK Softball vs. Wright State
Dine. Discover. Decide.: Connecting students to alumni in 3D!
Earth Days in the Bluegrass and the Late Night Film Series Present: Gasland Part II, A Bike-In Movie
UK Baseball vs. Morehead State
Student Sustainability Council Meeting
Tue
9
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
LNFS presents Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
UK Men's Tennis vs. Ohio State
Boxes & Walls: Oppression through History
Wellness On Wheels
Get Your DIY On! Fix-It Station Demonstrations
Overview of Nursing Home Care
Spring (Bike) Fever Twitter Chat
UK Softball vs. Mississippi Valley
Best Practices for Tree Planting and Establishment Class 2
UK Men's Tennis vs. Morehead State
Wed
10
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
LNFS presents American Hustle
UK Toastmasters
Bike-Through Resource Fair
Undergraduate Research Group Advising Session: April General
Presentation by Ladino Rockstar, Sarah Aroeste
Mountain Biking for Beginners Clinic
LNFS presents The Mexican Suitcase
Mr. PharmD
Performance by Ladino Rockstar, Sara Aroeste
Thu
11
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Last Day to Drop a Spring 2014 Course
LNFS presents Boogie Nights
Car-Free Day
What Are They? Some Hidden Forms of the Copula in Old Irish
UK Men's Tennis vs. South Carolina
UK Baseball vs. Missouri
LNFS presents Loose Cannons
Fri
12
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
UK Baseball vs. Missouri
UK Men's Golf Bluegrass Invitational
Arboretum Volunteer Training and Orientation
Taste of Africa
Dramatic Presentation -"Las Voces de los Apalaches"
Swing Dancing!
Sat
13
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
UK Baseball vs. Missouri
UK Men's Golf Bluegrass Invitational
UK Men's Tennis vs. Florida
UK Men's Tennis vs. Murray State
Sun
14
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Therapeutic Chair Massage
Mon
15
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Superheroes On and Off the Page
Parenting Connection Group
Farmer's MarCat & Craft Fair
Student-Teacher-Student Exhibit
Tue
16
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
LNFS presents Blue Velvet
Inequality in the US: Consequences
Reframing Stress: Do You Know Your Choices?
Best Practices for Tree and Shrub Pruning Class 3
Cooking Class: For True Beginners
Pinterest Party #3
Wed
17
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
LNFS presents Anchorman 2
UK Toastmasters
Virtual Dementia Tour
Children at Risk Research Conference Keynote Address: Gender, Sexuality, & Risks for Violence among Young Women and LGBTQ Youth in Urban Communities
OUTspoken: Leaving the Second Closet Behind
LNFS presents Easy Rider
Thu
18
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Children at Risk Graduate Student Research Poster Presenatation
20th Annual Black Women's Conference
Children at Risk Research Conference Speaker: Why Do Home and Neighborhood Issues Become School Safety Nightmares?
The Re-enchantment of Photography as a Primanry Geographic Mapping Medium
The Re-enchantment of Photography as a Primanry Geographic Mapping Medium
UK Softball vs. Arkansas
Fri
19
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
20th Annual Black Women's Conference
UK Softball vs. Arkansas
UK Track and Field Home meet
Unleash the Beast: Paintball Wars
Sat
20
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Sun
21
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Distinguished Industry Lecture Series, H. Graham Motion and Bruce “Buck” Davidson, Jr.
Mon
22
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Explore Leadership Workshops
Job Club: Tighten Your Budget after a Job Loss
‘Project Learning Tree’ Workshop for Educators
Drug War Talk by Anthropologist Howard Campbell
Student Sustainability Council Meeting
Tue
23
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
LNFS presents The Lego Movie
Registration Deadline: Weight Loss Matters
Legacy Week: Ping Pong Ball Drop
Health Smart: Mindfulness
Pre-Pharmacy Club Meeting
IPM (Integrated Pest Management) and Tree Healthcare Class 4
Shuffle Series: Bluegrass
Wed
24
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
LNFS presents The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
UK Toastmasters
Wellness On Wheels
LNFS presents Juno
Legacy Week: Candlelight Ceremony
Thu
25
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
LNFS presents The Brave Little Toaster
Bonfires of Illusions: the Twin Crises of the Liberal World
Arbor Day Volunteer Orientation and Training
Alex Callinicos - "Bonfires of Illusions: The Twin Crises of the Liberal World
LNFS presents Pariah
UK Theatre presents "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"
Color Me Spring Fashion Show
Fri
26
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Legacy Week: Leave Your Legacy
Arbor Day at The Arboretum
UK Theatre presents "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"
Sat
27
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
UK Theatre presents "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"
UK Wind Symphony Concert
UK Symphony & Concert Band Concert
Sun
28
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Mon
29
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Politics in Mexico Today
Tue
30
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Relieving Stress Through Your Senses
Tree Identification Class 5
Massage on the Go #3
The Practicing Happiness Workbook - author presentation
Wed
 
 
 

Fri, 04/18/2014

Sat, 04/19/2014

Reset Page