15 February 2006, we lost our loving 14 year old daughter Shauna Stuewe
to Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). An accomplished Gymnast and talented
cheerleader, Shauna was both physically fit and the picture of health
at the time her death. The only history of a medical problem was a near-drowning
incident at Summer Camp two years prior. Shauna was seen by a Pediatric
Cardiologist who performed various tests including EKGs, Echocardiogram
and Holter Monitor. The medical team concluded that Shauna was in good
health, no further cardiac evaluation was needed and no restrictions
were placed on her activities. When we asked the doctor about the probable
cause of Shauna's incident, he speculated that it was probably just
a "fluke" caused by an unexplained fainting spell or a mild
The two years that followed the pool incident were non-eventful from
a medical perspective. Shauna remained fun-loving and active. Then,
on that fateful afternoon, we got a call from the school office that
Shauna had fainted at cheer practice. When we arrived, EMTs were performing
CPR and rushing her into an ambulance. Unbelievably, the doctors could
not revive her that afternoon and the coroner’s office never determined
a cause for her sudden cardiac arrest.
While the cause of Shauna's death is still a mystery, we feel strongly
that a quick response with an automated external defibrillator (AED)
could have saved her life. With the survival rate of sudden cardiac
arrest victims dropping up to 10% each minute without defibrillation,
time was obviously of the essence that day. If an AED had been located
nearby on that dreadful afternoon, we might have been here sharing with
you a happy ending.
We find peace and comfort in the knowledge that Shauna is with our Lord
in Heaven. She loved Jesus deeply and her favorite book of the Bible
was Revelations. She wrote in a prayer journal everyday, talking with
God as one would talk to a best friend.
Shauna is very much missed by all those who loved her.
She lives in our hearts on Earth and eternally in Heaven!