12-year-old Phoenix soccer player returns home month after sudden cardiac arrest
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- They say home is where the heart is. For Pyper Midkiff, home is on the soccer field. In April, she suffered a sudden cardiac arrest mid-practice that benched her completely. She’s lucky to be alive, but now, her goal is to return to the game.
Pyper was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or HCM. HCM is responsible for nearly all sudden cardiac arrests in children. The condition has no symptoms and is genetic.
Pyper’s identical twin, Emori, learned she has it too, following her sister’s incident. The twins are now on the journey together. “We have a private trainer that we’re working with. We might not be able to play a full match, but maybe a half,” said Pyper.
“Her recovery has been remarkable. Her strength and resilience, saying ‘I’m going to overcome this,’ is an inspiration to anyone who comes in contact with her,” said Dr. Andrew Papez, a pediatric cardiologist at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. He says it’s too early to tell if she’ll be able to play again, but if anyone could, it’s Pyper.
Soccer or no soccer, Pyper says she is thankful for a second chance at life and a brand new outlook.
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