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Heartsick, heart safe

“In July, a friend of mine from high school in suburban Philadelphia found his 9-year-old son at the bottom of a swimming pool. They were on vacation, and he’d been watching him the whole time. They got him out and gave him CPR for 23 minutes; they called the EMTs, had to get him to the nearest hospital by helicopter, and he was on life support for a week.

“He’s okay now, but they didn’t know if he would live or die, or if there would be permanent damage.”

As it turned out, the child, one of a set of triplets, had an undiagnosed heart condition.

The odds are that 99 percent of children in such a situation would have died, Ms. Yanowitz continued. Her friend’s son was very lucky; after the initial disaster, everything else broke exactly right for him.

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