Emily Clark, 13 years old
Emily Clark was six months old when she was diagnosed with an abnormal heartbeat.
At first, it was thought to be an “innocent” heart murmur that most children outgrow. But after hearing extra heartbeats, Emily was sent to Seattle Children’s to the Heart Center for further testing. Doctors discovered she had an irregular abnormal heart murmur caused by a slight tear in one of the heart’s valves, causing extra heartbeats per second.
At times, the extra heartbeats can cause Emily to experience chest pains, dizziness and shortness of breath. Wanting to avoid surgery her cardiologists determined that by closely monitoring Emily’s health the abnormal heart murmur is something she could live with into adulthood and the tear in her heart value would eventually close on its own. Every 6-12 months, Emily visits the Heart Center for an electrocardiogram and an echocardiogram, ultrasound tests using high-pitched sound waves that are sent through a device called a transducer. These tests tell cardiologists the number of heart beats per second and if the heart is being overworked.
With these tests, Emily has been able to avoid heart surgery but will continue to be monitored into adulthood.
Seattle University's Dance Marathon has the special privilege of working with Miracle Kids from Seattle Children's Hospital, who have benefited from the Uncompensated Care Fund that our philanthropy supports. Our Miracle Kids and their families attend SUDM events throughout the year, including The Dance Marathon.