Family and friends have established this memorial fund in Jamie's honor. The funds raised here will support the families and save the lives of children and young people with heart rhythm abnormalities and help raise awareness of SADS conditions around the world.
On April 13, 2009, my life and the lives of my family members were forever changed when my cousin died suddenly of a cardiac arrhythmia at the age of 28. Jamie was the highlight of our lives, filling each day with laughter and smiles. When you were down, he was always there to uplift you in any way that he could.

As a child, Jamie became passionate about basketball, playing with his friends any day that he could. His passion for sports continued through adulthood, when he played basketball or football with family members and friends.

On April 13, 2009. Jamie and his friends decided to play a few games of basketball at our local YMCA. After a couple of rounds, Jamie's friends noticed that he looked a little tired and tried to discourage him for playing an additional game. After Jamie assured them that he was okay, his friends took him up on his offer to play one more game of basketball. As his friends walked to the opposite end of the basketball court, they turned around to see Jamie lying on the floor after collapsing, making a noise that was unrecognizable. After their attempts to elicit a response from Jamie failed, his friends ran to get help from one of the staff members. While waiting on paramedics to arrive, the staff member performed CPR on Jamie, trying desperately to elicit a response. After paramedics arrived, they continued CPR as they were in route to the local hospital, located less than a mile away.

Upon arrival to the hospital, Jamie was still unresponsive and his heart never beat again. After more than 30 minutes of resuscitation efforts at the hospital, doctors pronounced Jamie dead.

That day is one that will continue to live on in my mind for the rest of my life, and the lives of Jamie's family and close friends. Jamie left behind a mother, father, two sisters, two brothers, and a precious four year old daughter named Jay Ivey. He also left behind a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends whose lives he touched everyday. I will never forget his joy and laughter, but I can rest in the fact that he is in a place where love and life are eternal.

Although his death was sudden, Jamie's life will continue to be honored through our efforts as a family. I want to do everything in my power to bring awareness to this issue, and to give a voice to those whose voices were silenced through their deaths. If we would have known about this organization prior to Jamie's death, we would have been empowered with the information that we needed to prevent his sudden death. The best that we can do now, is to empower families, schools, and communities through awareness of this issue, and hope that these deaths can be prevented in the future.

- Erin J. Echols

 

SADS Foundation :: Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes Foundation • 4527 South 2300 East, Suite #104, Salt Lake City, UT 84117 • 1-801-272-3023.