Oct 28, 2015 6:17 PM

An explanation of how an enlarged heart took the life of Sandown's Christopher Chester


SANDOWN - It's a heartbreaking story.

9-year-old Christopher Chester from Sandown died suddenly after he collapsed while delivering cookies to a friend.

READ: Sandown community mourning 9-year-old boy who died suddenly on his way to deliver cookies

He and his father, William, were walking when William noticed Christopher was sluggish, tired and out of breath. Christopher then collapsed, and his father wasn’t able to revive him.

But what happened?

“It turns out he had the same thing that I have,” his mother Sharon Melanson said. “He was just there lifeless. It’s endiocardiomyopathy - a very enlarged heart.”

The heart is an organ that's basically a big muscle, the hardest working muscle in your body. When it's enlarged, it may not be able to pump blood properly.

READ: Parents of Sandown 9-year-old who died delivering cookies offer advice, warning signs for others

According to the Mayo Clinic, an enlarged heart can be caused by a number of reasons.

For some, you’re born with it – congenital.

Or it can develop from damage from a heart attack or an abnormal heartbeat - arrhythmia.

You are more at risk if you have a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, blocked arteries, or if you've had a heart attack.

Some of the symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pains, abnormal heart rhythm, or swelling - often in the feet, ankles and legs. But some people may not show any symptoms.

There are a lot of test to determine if you have an enlarged heart.

An enlarged heart is easier to treat when it's detected early, so talk to your doctor if you have concerns about your heart.

For Christopher Chester, the Sandown community created a GoFundMe page to help his family pay for funeral expenses.


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