On July 18, 2010, Ben Weisbuch and wife returned home from their honeymoon in the Caribbean. Six hours later Ben suffered Sudden Cardiac Death. His wife saved his life by calling 911. After shocking Ben 6 times with the external defibrillator, the EMTs rushed him to Grant Hospital. They placed him in a coma for 5 days. Ben spent another 30 days in the hospital as they explored every diagnosis of what caused his sudden cardiac event, without success. For 30 days, Ben’s wife did not know whether she would become a widow or remain a newlywed.
Surgeons at the Ohio State University implanted an experimental device not then approved by the FDA into Ben’s chest (he was 14th in the country and 200th in the world to receive the device) which has kept him alive. World experts (from Italy, Spain, Thailand, the Netherlands and in this country) were not been able to diagnose the underlying cause of his condition, however, despite performing every test known to them. Since 2010, Ben’s defibrillator fired over 135 times, one night 91 times in six hours. Ben has suffered burn marks, from the inside out and has endured four heart surgeries in six different hospitals.
In 2012, Peter Mohler, Director and the Davis Heart Lung Research Institute at The Ohio State University mapped his entire genome, the first time OSU has done this. Dr. Mohler and his team discovered a gene mutation never seen before by researchers. This gene marker has been used to discover other individuals in Europe at risk for SCD and is helping save lives.
Ben and Miranda have a son who, fortunately, does not have the deadly genetic marker. They plan to use in vitro fertilization to eradicate the disease from their family forever. Given enough time, it is hoped that the Heart Hope Foundation, working with others, can use genetic markers to eradicate deadly cardiac disease from every family across the globe.
The genetic research has given Ben and his family hope that they might live a relatively normal life together. Ben spend considerable time speaking to organizations to raise awareness about heart disease. they are driven by the goal to sure make sure that what happened to him and his wife never happens to a young couple again.
The Heart Hope Foundation accepts donations through the Columbus Foundation. You can donate by going here: https://tcfapp.org/donation