Tim’s Story

Discover How a Healthy 30-Year-Old Died within 15 Minutes

Tim’s Flu-Like Symptoms Led to Sudden Death

As told by Tim’s wife, Angela Burke

 Tim’s Flu-Like Symptoms Led to Sudden Death
Tim and Angela Burke

On February 16, 2010 my life was suddenly forever changed. In the early morning hours I was woken up by my husband, Tim, struggling to breath. Approximately 15 minutes later he was gone. My wonderful, loving husband of only two years was gone. All of the hopes and dreams that we shared were gone. It was so hard to comprehend because he was not sick. He was active, exercised regularly and was in good shape. How was this possible?

The coroner called later that morning and explained that Tim’s death was a result of complications from myocarditis. At the time of his death, he had six weeks of scar tissue around his heart and he was three weeks into heart, liver and kidney failure. Also sometime in the recent past he had suffered a mild heart attack. Tim was only 30.

I was completely stunned by what the coroner had found. Myocarditis? What is myocarditis? That is what I and everyone else in my life began asking. It does not seem possible that there is a disease that can take someone’s life without presenting much more than flu-like symptoms.

The week prior to his death he told me that he was “not feeling right.” He had experienced occasional lightheadedness, nausea and had less of an appetite. We thought he may have been getting the flu but he had started to feel better.

Unfortunately, this disease does exist and though it’s considered rare, it effects far too many people and in many cases goes undetected until sudden death occurs. The fact that Tim lost his life will never make sense to me but I am committed to continuing to raise money for The Myocarditis Foundation.

Hopefully through the hard work of individuals to raise money and awareness for this cause, progress through research will be made in leaps and bounds. There needs to be a time when this disease is more often than not diagnosed before it is too late. Please educate yourself and others about this disease.