Pam Husband, President and Executive Director of the Canadian SADS Foundation began by telling us about the tragedy that led to her starting this charity.
 

Pam had been an elementary school teacher, had been a financial controller for small/medium companies and had her own consulting company when, in 1990 her 16 year old son died suddenly and no-one could give her the reason why.

The Canadian Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome (SADS) Foundation is a registered Canadian charity committed to saving the lives and supporting the families of children and young adults who are genetically predisposed to sudden death due to heart rhythm abnormalities.

 Sudden Cardiac Arrest is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating and usually causes death if not treated within minutes. SCA usually occurs when the heart develps an arrhythmia that causes the heart to stop pumping blood to the body. SCA is not the same as a heart attack, however SCA can happen after a heart attack or during recovery from one.

Pam went on to further explain the 5 cardiac disorders and the 3 warning signs: 

1. Fainting or seizure during physical activity

2. Fainting or seizure resulting from emotional excitement, emotional distress or startle

3. Family history of unexpectedly sudden death during physical activity or during a seizure, or any other unexplained sudden death of an otherwise healthy young person.

The Foundation's 3 core services are:  

1. To provide support services for patients and families affected by inherited cardiac disorders  

2. To promote awareness of the "warning signs".  

3. To promote universal screening.

Until her son died, Pam had never volunteered for anything. She now runs the Foundation from her home office, and as with anyone else involved, is an unpaid volunteer. Funding for the Foundation comes solely from donations from individuals, corporations and other foundations.

Additional information on SADS and the Foundation can be found on its website: www.sads.ca.