Photo by Tessa Marie Images.
A decade ago, Phyllis Sudman and her husband, Darren, lost their 3-month-old boy, Simon, to sudden cardiac arrest. They’ve since channeled their grief into Simon’s Fund, working to change the standard of care for children.
What is the mission of Simon’s Fund?
To save the life of one child, then another, by raising awareness about conditions that lead to sudden cardiac arrest. Everyone thinks that sudden cardiac arrest only affects adults. It doesn’t. It affects children, too.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
We’ve screened 11,000 hearts and impacted almost 100 students who discovered heart conditions. We worked to create the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act in Pennsylvania, and seven other states have passed legislation. We’re also creating HeartBytes, which is the first national youth cardiac registry.
What’s the most fulfilling part of running the organization?
It’s about the lives we’re saving. It’s amazing when you get the thank-you from a family for saving their daughter or son. It’s all about changing the standard of care so that everyone gets his or her heart checked. That’s what it comes down to.