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Long QT Syndrome

Saturday, Jan 04, 2014

Jennifer White, MD, was determined to stay active even after being diagnosed with a serious heart condition and overcoming several setbacks.

Jennifer White, MD, said she was the "healthiest person I know," or so she thought.

The 36-year-old emergency medicine physician and busy mother of four young children had always been active, a varsity runner and multi-sport athlete. A little over a year ago, when she fainted during an exercise class at the gym, she was shocked. It was the beginning of a yearlong challenge Dr. White never thought she'd have to face.

Dr. White Talks About Long QT Syndrome

Dr. White sought out the expertise of her colleague, Doylestown Hospital electrophysiologist John Harding, MD, who immediately diagnosed her with long QT syndrome. Adults and children with long QT syndrome are at risk of sudden cardiac arrest and death.

Between the medication and having a defibrillator and pacemaker implanted, Dr. White wasn’t sure she would be able to ever run again. But her colleagues in Cardiac Rehab had other ideas.

Amazingly, just about one year after her diagnosis, Dr. White was able to run a half marathon in Philadelphia averaging an 8.8 minute-mile.

"It was monumental for me in that almost a year ago I thought I would never run again," says Dr. White.

Two of her children were found to have long QT syndrome and are now being monitored. Dr. White wants to raise awareness of the condition, and conducts seminars for local school nurses.

Visit the NIH's website to learn the symptoms of long QT syndrome.

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