Discover How Viral Myocarditis Claimed the Life of a Healthy 25-Year-Old

Michael’s Family Does Not Want His Life to be in Vain

As told by Michael’s mom, Sylvia Kern

Michael Robert Kern is a face of myocarditis. A good looking, healthy 25 year old, full of love, life and laughter, Michael had been married less than two years when he died suddenly of Viral Myocarditis.

He had very mild flu-like symptoms for two days. The first day, he went to work and felt like he was coming down with a cold. He took a cold tablet before going to bed. The following day, he went to work, came home and felt it was his stomach bothering him and not a cold. He didn’t feel like eating much and took pink bismuth liquid before going to bed at 10:30 PM on a Thursday night, but he did tell his wife that there was something “different” about how he felt. His wife told him to go to the doctor the next day if he was not feeling any better.

A little after midnight on Friday the 13th, 2007, he jerked up in bed and fell over. His wife thought he was dreaming, he fell halfway off the bed and his wife struggled to get him on the floor, pinching him to try to wake him. She realized he was not breathing and called 911, then called us after the medics arrived.

When we arrived, they were putting Michael into the ambulance. They took him to the major trauma center rather than the local hospital so we held a small bit of hope, even though we knew if he had stopped breathing; too much time had passed for him to survive.

At the hospital, we were told that he had left ventricular arrhythmia and was pronounced dead. The doctor suspected Viral Myocarditis and after autopsy the cause of death was verified. There was no heart muscle enlargement; the Medical Examiner said that he was perfectly healthy, which makes the finality of death more difficult to accept.

We had never heard of myocarditis before this happened. We know now, unfortunately, one of the symptoms is sudden death. Our beloved son is a face of Myocarditis and through awareness, if other lives are saved, then his death will not have been in vain.

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