Our Story
Our Family

On January 17, 2002 after completing his first semester sophomore year finals our loving fifteen year old son, Adam, an honor student at Grayslake Community High School, Grayslake, Illinois came home and died of a heart condition called LQT. Long QT is a genetic disorder that affects the electrical activity of the heart. A person with Long QT Syndrome is at risk of loss of consciousness, cardiac arrest, and sudden death. Around 4:00 P.M., his mother, Colleen, ran an errand with our son Andy. When she returned at 5:30 P.M. she found Adam lying on his bedroom floor. She immediately called 911, started CPR, and administered our home defibrillator paddles. Every effort to save his life failed.

We were planning on buying Adam his High School ring for his junior year 2003 in blue, his favorite color. Instead we bought him a blue casket and dressed him in a navy blue outfit that he received for Christmas. In his coffin his friends placed some of their personal items including pictures, rings, a watch, and a school flag. After his mother and I said our final goodbyes we asked if anyone else would like to speak. His classmates came up as a group and each one said how much Adam meant to them and how he will be deeply missed

As the funeral procession led by a Lake County Sheriff and comprised of over 100 cars preceded to the cemetery, each suburb we had to pass sent a police escort to lead us through their town. On the way to the cemetery the procession went past Papa John’s Pizza in Grayslake where Adam worked part time. As the hearse caring his body to his final resting place passed, his boss and co-workers stood outside in the cold waving and taking pictures. Over 500 loving family and friends attended his wake and funeral. It was evident that Adam impacted many lives in the 15 years that God gave him to us. He will always be remembered for his openness and acceptance of everyone.

In August 1997 Adam experienced his first episode. Colleen, upon returning from a short errand, discovered him unconscious on his bedroom floor. Fortunately she was able to bring him back. After running numerous tests an ECG revealed he had prolonged QT. He was placed on Beta Blockers and was prevented from participating in sports.

When Adam was diagnosed in 1997 with LQT little did we know that it would change our lives forever. Our entire family was tested and my son, Andy and I were diagnosed with Long QT syndrome. Colleen went into action to get the awareness of this life threatening condition out. She worked with the local grade schools and Grayslake Community High School to get defibrillator units. She has attempted to work with local politicians to get changes in sport physicals and testing for newborn babies. She often says: “That dealing with LQT is like living with ticking time bombs.”

Since Adams untimely death, Andy, had a pacemaker defibrillator implanted on February 11, 2002. Our son, Alex, who was asymptomatic, had a 24-hour EKG halter monitor, which showed he had an irregular heart rate and has been placed on increased dose of Beta Blockers. We are still working with the doctors to determine if he needs a pacemaker/defibrillator implant.

On March 12, 2002 as my wife Colleen and I were sitting and talking at the kitchen table our son Andy who was playing with his friends in the backyard began to scream in excruciating pain and fell to the ground. For a moment we sat in sheer horror thinking to ourselves “God this can’t be happening again.” Less than two months before, we had lost our son Adam to this life threatening heart condition called Long QT. Colleen ran to Andy’s aide while I ran to the phone and called 911. When asked how he was feeling Andy said it was like bombs were exploding in his chest. Fortunately he had the pacemaker defibrillator, which shocked him four times saving his life. Andy was transported by ambulance to the hospital for tests.

In September 2002 Andy experienced an episode of Long QT, was rushed to local hospital and then flown by flight for life helicopter to Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. He was in the hospital for a couple of days to determine what had happened and regulate his pacemaker defibrillator. He came through another round of tests and continues to live with uncertainties the rest of his life.

When Colleen and I were preparing to go to mass on January 17, 2006, being said in memory of our son Adam’s fourth anniversary, Andy ran into our room screaming that his pacemaker defibrillator was ringing. Colleen called Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago and the nurse requested that she connect Andy’s chest to the home relay unit and transmit the readings via telephone to the hospital. After observing the readings the hospital called back and informed her that Andy needed to be seen at the hospital. Upon additional testing at the hospital Andy needs to have surgery to replace the battery and possibly a lead wire. Normally the battery, which came with his unit, lasts for five years but since Andy has experienced several episodes it wore out sooner.

Besides the anxiety the loss of a brother Andy and Alex have to live with the uncertainty that they may also die at the early age from this life threatening condition. Alex is afraid to go to sleep because he thinks he will die in his sleep like his brother Adam. The entire family is going through counseling to deal with all these problems. We still don’t know what the future has in store for Andy, Alex, and the rest of our family.

In 2003, with the support of family and friends, Colleen and I created ADAMS (Automatic Defibrillators Allow More Survival) Night in memory of our son Adam and to raise the awareness of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) and funds to purchase Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) for the community.

Through the benefits we have donated AEDs throughout the communities including:

  • Grayslake High School-North and Central campuses
  • Westlake Christian Academy
  • Calvary Christian School
  • Prince of Peace Parish

It is our family mission to continue to spread the awareness of Sudden Cardiac Arrest, to purchase Automatic Defibrillators, and help save other lives.

 

 
In Loving Memory of
Adam J Kausak

July 26, 1986 - January 17, 2002
All proceeds from the ADAMS (Automatic Defibrillators Allow More Survival) Night benefit will be used to purchase Automatic External Defibrillators (AED’s) for communities.

 

Purchase Your ADAMS Night Benefit Ticket(s) TODAY!

CLICK HERE
TO PURCHASE TICKETS


Please register by
February 14, 2016


We are working with
Cardiac Science
to place defibrillators in communities near you.



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