They’ve got heart: Baseball scare spurs Minnesota nonprofit to donate defibrillators

From: Duluth News Tribune

When 2-year-old Finn High was struck in the chest by an errant baseball in May 2012, his father, Jamie High, braced himself for the inevitable avalanche of tears.

Instead, Finn collapsed to the ground, not breathing and with no sign of a pulse. Paramedics transported him first to Cambridge (Minn.) Medical Center, then to Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis. Against the odds, Finn survived an often-lethal condition known as commotio cordis with little more than a seriously bruised heart muscle — nothing to scoff at, to be sure, but a blessing when considering the alternative.

If immediate medical attention isn’t provided, reports suggest commotio cordis, which stems from a blunt impact to the chest that causes sudden cardiac arrest, is fatal 80 to 90 percent of the time.

“You just assume at first he’s going to cry like a little kid,” said Jamie High, a 1990 Duluth East graduate now living in Cambridge who’s in Duluth for this weekend’s Art Von Little League tournament. “It was difficult … it was just plain scary to see it happen to your own kid.

“We really lucked out; it could have got a lot worse.”

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