Healthy 35-year-old drops dead from condition linked to mysterious syndrome

It was just another ordinary Monday. Bec Barry had made a stir-fry while husband Andrew entertained their children. Before going to bed, the pair worked out, bathed, and spoke. Then Bec’s world fell apart.

He went mute as she spoke to the loving, fit, and healthy father of two. When she looked over at him, he was immobile, looking coldly back at her. Then he dropped to the floor, lifeless. He was 35.

Bex explained she is going to have to live with it for the rest of her life. She literally saw him breathe his final breath. It happened so quickly in a couple of seconds.

Andrew, a builder, died as a result of a disorder similar to Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS), which can afflict the young without notice.

Andrew had just had a comprehensive physical after his brother had a health scare, and had passed with flying colours.

Bec stated that he had a Holter monitor, a wearable portable electrocardiogram, an ECG, an echocardiography, everything except an MRI.

Andrew played football, rode bikes, and did all the things that regular boys do. He had never had any previous symptoms.

And they claimed he didn’t need the MRI since he cleared all of his previous tests.

A post-mortem examination found that an MRI may have shown AVC – Arrhythmogenic Ventricular Cardiomyopathy – which leads fatty tissue to substitute cardiac muscle.

The hereditary disorder thins the walls of the heart ventricle and interrupts essential electrical communication to the heart muscle.

It’s been connected as a possible explanation in certain cases of SADS, also known as Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome, which kills individuals in their twenties and thirties without notice.

Bec continued that they blamed Sudden Adult Death Syndrome, but it was since he had this undiscovered cardiac issue.

Andrew had fallen out a month before, and as he slumped motionless to the ground, Bec feared he had gone out again.

She explained they were getting ready to go to bed. And literally, in that instant, her life changed forever. He looked at her and then fell.

He was speaking to her the other moment. He ended up finishing one phrase and then asked her an inquiry, to which she turned around to respond.

She responded, but he did not respond. When she turned back, he was still standing there. But then he began to crumble.

He simply collapsed on the floor. She initially assumed he fainted because he had already fainted.

However, as the colour left his face and he stopped breathing, she realised something was very incorrect. She was trembling. She had no clue what was happening.

She summoned a neighbour, who performed CPR while they waited for an ambulance. Bec made certain that their children Taj, 12, and Zali, 9, did not see the horrific occurrence.

Bec explained she walked to the other end of the house and closed all the doors so they couldn’t hear. They’re generally awful sleepers but happily they slept through the whole event.

She didn’t want them to see him lying dead on our bedroom floor. She didn’t want them to remember him in that way.

After Bec urged them to try all they could to rescue Andrew, paramedics laboured for more than 90 minutes to resuscitate him.

After all faith had faded and the medics had departed, Bec lay awake all night, preparing to inform their kids that their dad had died.

She remarked, Andrew was amazing. He was the type of individual you could go to and tell him anything and he would give you his whole support.

He was usually cheerful. He was always cracking jokes. He was a fantastic father. He was quite hands-on. He worked full-time, yet he would still come home and say “Let’s go do something, kids! We’re going for a stroll, a ride, and a game of football!”

Every one of his buddies adored him.

The pair met 16 years ago when Bec, now 39, was working in a bank and Andrew came in for a credit card since he was going abroad for a year.

However the trip was cut short after only a few months so he could see Bec again before they settled down and began a family.

It’s a real love tale,’ says Bec, a clothes designer from Bendigo, Victoria.

She describes informing her kids that their father had died as the most difficult thing she has ever had to do.

She said, initially, they didn’t believe her. She didn’t know where to begin stating things.

She was still dealing with his leaving them, and then she had to put on her parent hat and try to hold her emotions together so she could communicate it to kids.

Initially, her son awoke, and she told the situation to him, and then her daughter awoke as she heard Taj sobbing.

Following the disaster on September 14, 2020, Bec launched a fashion business called ‘AVC The label,’ named after Andrew’s heart ailment.

A part of the revenues are contributed to the Heart Foundation to aid with illness research.

She is now waiting for her kids to reach the age of consent for an MRI to see whether they acquired the disease from their dad.

Andrew’s brother was diagnosed with the disease when his heart rate abruptly increased to more than 200 beats per minute. He was brought to the hospital but recovered.

He now has a defibrillator inserted to keep the situation under control.

Bec said that they certainly didn’t realise how serious it was. This is her new mission. She is sure Andrew is overjoyed.

There are days when she thinks to herself, she can do this. But there are times when she simply needs him to assist her.

It’s a roller-coaster ride. Occasionally she sits and cries, and sometimes she sits and smiles. But it’s something she is quite interested in.

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