Family speaks out on death of 9-year-old Little Leaguer
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The family of Spencer Melvin is speaking out about the medical condition that unexpectedly caused his heart to stop. The nine-year-old died April 10, just minutes before his Little League game at Rainbow Family Park.
According to the Clark County Coroner, Spencer suffered from an undetected genetic condition, that caused his heart muscle to thicken and harden.
"I hope he knew that we were there, and we were fighting so hard to bring him back, but we couldn't," says Spencer's Dad, Robert Melvin, who tried to resusitate his son.
"We are in the process of doing genetic testing to find exactly what gene contributed to his condition, and exactly what happened."
Spencer's family also plans to create a foundation in his name, using money that was donated by Little League teams and people from around the valley and country.
"The outpouring of support we have received has been amazing," Robert says. "We want to help other people, raise awareness, and educate about these kinds of heart conditions."
After meeting with a cardiologist, Robert learned his son has already made an impact.
"The cardiologist told us that he's had 10 to 15 families come in to his office quoting Spencer's story," Robert says. "Parents are showing up to get their children checked out. That helps bring us peace."
Action News spoke with that cardiologist, Dr. Vincent Thomas, at Children's Heart Center of Nevada.
He says parents should not be panicked by what happened to Spencer. He says about 1 in 500 people has the same heart condition but not everyone who has it goes into cardiac arrest from it. However, he does want to see more community awareness.
Dr. Thomas recommends visiting the Sads Foundation website for more heart condition information.