• Brugada syndrome causes abnormal electrical activity in the heart
  • The child was fitted with a heart defibrillator after the diagnosis
  • Her mother, brother and grandfather also have the condition

A woman in England was left "broken" after her 14-month-old daughter suffered cardiac arrest during a family outing. The baby was diagnosed with a rare and potentially life-threatening heart disorder.

Jody Crook, of Essex, was spending time with her family at a park in Chelmsford in August when her daughter, Sienna, started screaming and collapsed to the ground. The child survived the cardiac arrest, thanks to Crook's best friend, Kayleigh Charley, who performed CPR on the baby until the emergency responders arrived, local daily Echo reported.

Sienna was taken to a nearby hospital. Her heart rate had reached 300 beats per minute and it was stabilized after several hours of effort. However, doctors found that the child was having a heart murmur, a hole in her heart and an irregular heartbeat.

She was moved to another hospital in London and was diagnosed with a rare rare heart condition called Brugada syndrome – a life-threatening cardiac disease that triggers abnormal electrical activity in the heart, causing sudden heart attacks.

Sienna's condition only worsened over time. The family was shocked to discover that Crook, her 5-year-old son Theo and her father also had the same condition, which implied the child might have inherited it from them.

"Sienna was a really happy little girl. She never had any health conditions, and even on the day of her cardiac arrest she was bright and playful," Crook told Echo. "She's at a very risk of having a cardiac arrest in future because she's already had one. Little did we know that day life was never going to return to normal."

"It's been heartbreaking, to be honest, it's completely broken me. When you've held your child in your arms and watch them fighting for their life it does change you," Crook added. "Nothing's going to hold Sienna and that's why I think she's still here to be honest. She's tough, she's strong and she's resilient."

Brugada syndrome doesn't cause any noticeable symptoms, which means most people with the condition do not even realize it until they suffer a cardiac arrest. However, some early signs of Brugada syndrome include dizziness, fainting, gasping and labored breathing, irregular heartbeat, palpitations, extremely fast heartbeat and seizures. A major indicator is an irregular result on an electrocardiogram (ECG), which measures the electrical activity of the heart.

Sienna has been fitted with a heart defibrillator as there is no known cure for the syndrome yet. "I just can't sit back and accept it, Sienna could live for a year or another 50 years. I just won't give up," Crook told the outlet.

Representation. Pixabay