Nicollas Rafael, 10 years old, died after suffering a sudden illness while playing with friends in Cubatão, a city where he lived in the metropolitan region of Baixada Santista. The family says that the boy did not show any signs of health problems, however, after his death it was discovered that Nicollas suffered from a silent illness.
The diagnosis obtained the day after the boy’s death pointed to asymmetrical hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a rare disease that ended up causing heart failure and acute edema in the lung, which caused an accumulation of fluid.
On the day Nicollas got sick, friends called the family to report that the boy was vomiting. He would have asked for water and passed out. The family members, realizing that the situation was serious, sent the boy to the hospital.
The child was admitted to the emergency room, but died about 1 hour later.
Asymmetric hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
Silent disease affects men and women, including children. The pathology is characterized by a hypertrophy (growth) of the septal region of the heart and implies the difficulty of pumping blood from the heart to the rest of the body.
In many cases, this condition goes undiagnosed because the child is usually born with it and has no symptoms, as was the case with Nicollas.
When symptoms appear, the person usually experiences shortness of breath, fainting, and chest pain during or after physical exertion.
Diagnosis can be made from an electrocardiogram or genetic tests.