Hudson - Litchfield News 8 - September 3, 2010
Never Gave Up- continued from front page
The medical community acknowledges that personal knowledge of someone who may have the condition may only come from the results of an electrocardiogram (ECG). Most times, the tests are performed for an unrelated reason, or a sudden death for someone under the age of 40 years. LQT-2 is a genetic disorder and it is typically passed between family members. If a family member learns that he/she has this genetic mutation – in most cases, one of the parents have the dominant gene – there exists a strong possibility that more persons in the family could have LQT-2. At this time, genetic testing would be required for immediate family members to determine if they, too, carry the mutation.
Cardiac arrest is the most common result for one who suffers from LQT-2. An estimated 1 in 5,000 people are affected by the condition, reports QT. Syndrome. Ch. “Worldwide, although more people may be affected, 50 percent never experience any signs or symptoms of the condition. The frequency is unknown, but it appears to be a common cause of sudden and unexplained death in children and young adults. It is certainly much more common than previously thought,” according to the report. As Necole lies and reads in Zach’s bed each night, she, along with the entire Tompkins family, is trying to come to terms to understand what just happened to Zach. “We have no family history of any heart conditions,” continued Necole. “I should have known somehow. I’m his mother. We are supposed to know these things.” Necole and Mike spoke with a cardiac electrophysiologist at
Boston Children’s Hospital and they learned that LQT-2 is a silent killer. They also learned that it is not unusual for something tragic to happen before learning of the mutation and that immediate testing will need to be done to determine if one has this mutation. Unfortunately, the genetic test is not standard with any OB-GYN. As a genetic condition, the entire Tompkins family, relatives, parents, and grandparents have been tested for LQT-2. While coming to terms with the news that the Tompkins family has recently
staff photos by Doug Robinson
As Zach fell asleep each night, he had a clear, unobstructive view of Gillette Stadium
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learned from the medical professionals regarding the testing results of family members done to determine if LQT-2 was present, Necole commented, “Like Zach, we will not give up our fight. The doctors have told us that Nicholas and I are positive for LQT-2. Our lives have changed forever permanently. Not only do we continue to grieve for our loss of Zach, we now grieve with our new knowledge that Nicholas and I have LQT-2 as well. However, education is knowledge and knowledge is power. We are going to use that power to continue to fight and never give up. The doctors have prescribed medications for Nicholas and me. And we are confident that those medications will work.” In addition, while these medications will have to be monitored regularly, it is also important to note that “we advocate the importance of being CPR/AED-certified. I am working on getting a CPR training course donated for their school as we speak and I am also trying to get AEDs on the football field. Zach’s Stadium will definitely be equipped with an AED. I can assure you of that. It can save a life,” stated Necole. “On one hand, we grieve deeply for the loss of
Zachary, and on the other hand, we are grateful to know the reason for his passing. Yet, that knowledge is like a double-edged sword,” said Necole. “Through Zach’s passing, we gained the knowledge to educate ourselves so that what happened to Zach will not happen to either Nicholas or me. As strange as it sounds, we now know Zachary’s passing saved his little brother Nicholas’ life. He saved me, too. If there is a reason in all this madness, maybe that is the reason we all seek. He passed to save our lives. He continues to be a hero in my eyes.” It was time for our second break of the interview. We went to Zach’s bedroom. “I want Nicholas to live a normal, active life.
This will not define him. I want him to build a strong character; built on the foundations much like his older brother Zachary has. He will never use this as a crutch, although he will have to take his medications daily. He will be on the football field with his Bears team and he will be knocking down his opponents, too. With this new knowledge, our family can be proactive and we know that this is the best approach, as we are now informed,” said Necole.
As life adjusts for the Tompkins family, early every morning, Necole tiptoes into each child’s room and she listens for the rhythmic breathing of each child before she softly awakens them so that they may get ready for school. Necole states, “I have this horrific fear every morning walking into their rooms, but then as quick as you would flip a switch, I have to wake them with a smile on my face because I know I ‘set the pace’ for their day.” “Knowing I carry this gene and I gave it to both Zachary and Nicholas, I wrestle with my emotions, ranging from guilt to loneliness to sadness,” said Necole. “It is the unconditional love and support I have from my husband Mike, who walks with me and holds me up and the everlasting love for our three boys that keeps us going.” “We all got a special gift from Zachary. Our
Hudson community – our Hudson ‘family’ – has stood by us during his days of education, his days of on and off the field of sports, and now together in completing our mission to build a stadium for Zachary’s honor, and we will continue until we complete our goal.”
Zach’s retired Bears jersey, #27
“Our Hudson ‘family’ has continued to stand aside us and walk with us during these troubling times,” continued Necole. “Hudson is a very special community. Zachary is special because of Hudson.” And like Zach, we will never give up. He will continue to give all of us … give us ”something to believe in.” To learn more about LQT-2, visit www.SADS.org
and www. parentheartwatch.org
. As Helen Keller once said, “Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.”
NECC Announces Scholarships submitted by Northern Essex Community College
More than 200 Northern Essex Community College (NECC) students will receive over $169,000 in scholarships for the 2010-2011 academic year.
“Our students are deeply appreciative of the many generous individuals and organizations that make these
scholarships possible,” said Jean Poth, vice president of institutional advancement. “For many of our students, a scholarship is what allows them to stay in school.” Scholarships range from $500 to $1,500 and come from a variety of sources, including private donors, memorial donations, local businesses, and private foundations. The 2010-2011 Scholarship recipients include: Hudson: Christen Fecteau and Rukaiya Mohammed, NECC Foundation, Inc. Scholarships Litchfield: Daphne Valentino, NECC Foundation, Inc. Scholarship Salem: Paul Boudreau, Jennifer Cabral, and Lorena Chajchic, NECC Foundation, Inc. Scholarships; Denise LeBoeuf, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Squatrito Scholarship Windham: Shannon Hardiman, Raney Family Memorial Scholarship
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Litchfield Fire Log
Wednesday, August 18: 7:18 a.m. Suspicious activity, St. Francis Church parking lot. 8:10 a.m. Paperwork served, Liberty Way. 9:50 a.m. Suspicious activity, Brook Road. 6:47 p.m. Arrested Matthew Baker, 18, Litchfield, Possession of Controlled Drug. Thursday, August 19: 9:35 a.m. VIN verification, Charles Bancroft Highway. 3:19 p.m. Theft from a building, Page Road. 9:44 p.m. Dog running at large, Moose Hollow Road. Friday, August 20: 8:35 a.m. Motor vehicle accident with injuries, Derry Road. 2:54 p.m. Police information, Liberty Way. Sunday, August 22: 11:15 a.m. Arrested Henrique Ventura, 32, Hudson, Simple Assault, Suspended Registration, Driving After Revocation or Suspension. 11:37 a.m. Police report of accident requirements, Derry Road. 11:37 a.m. Domestic disturbance. Monday, August 23: 12:00 p.m. Suspicious activity, Charles Bancroft Highway. 12:46 p.m. Theft, Lund Street. 3:48 p.m. Motor vehicle accident, no injuries, Arcadian Lane. 5:01 p.m. Fingerprinting, Liberty Way. 6:50 p.m. Interference with custody of a child, Marc Lane. 11:03 p.m. Criminal mischief, Highlander Court. Tuesday, August 24: 11:00 a.m. Nashua juvenile was arrested for driving after suspension.
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