When Christie Tolosky died suddenly in 2005 at just 24 years old, her family and friends were in shock. Tolosky was a seemingly healthy and active young woman who loved everything about life, especially horses, and who was planning to go back to school to pursue human services or education.
Christie didn't get to fulfill her dream of helping people through a career, but she did help her very own family in a big way.
After Christie passed unexpectedly, my brother and I were both given a full check up because there was nothing that explained why she passed away and doctors didn't know if it was genetic, said Melissa Tolosky, her sister. "What they found in me was that I have Long QT Syndrome and Christie had it too."
Tolosky's brother, mother and a cousin were also diagnosed with the same condition, which falls under the category of Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes (SAD). The Tolosky's are rasising money for the SADs Foundation for the fifth year in a row on Saturday, Sept. 18, at the Columbia Pavilion in Saratoga State Park with "Christie's Heartoberfest," a day of fun to remember Christie and raise awareness about a condition that could have been prevented had it been detected earlier.
"I was immedietely put on a beta blocker, which is a simple medication that lowers blood pressure and keeps the heart out of the higher danger zone it can get into. I'll be on it the rest of my life but it's a pill every night, so I don't complain about that," said Tolosky. "I have an ICD, which is like a pacemaker and defibrillator, implanted in my chest for a precaution. If something happens where my heart goes into arrhythmia it will shock it into place."
Tolosky said most of the time, she isn't conscience of the preventative measures she has in place to potentially save her life.