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disneyholic family
11-16-2005, 11:13 PM
the medical examiner's reports are out on the boy who died on Mission Space and the girl who collapsed at Typhoon Lagoon and later died...
apparently the boy had a congentinal heart defect (not clear whether the parents knew about it) and the girl died of a virus, unrelated to her visit to Typhoon Lagoon....the two reports are below (a separate AP item on the boy follows the item on the girl):

<B>about the girl:</B>

Death of girl at Disney World linked to virus
The medical examiner's office says the 12-year-old from Newport News who collapsed at the theme park probably contracted the virus days earlier.
BY MONIQUE ANGLE

November 16, 2005
A 12-year-old Newport News girl who died after collapsing at a Disney theme park in August succumbed to an unidentified viral infection that reached her heart, a Florida medical examiner said Tuesday.

Jerra Kirby was visiting Disney's Typhoon Lagoon on Aug. 4 with her aunt and cousins when she fell ill and passed out. Lifeguards performed CPR, but she was pronounced dead later that day at a hospital in Celebration, Fla.

An autopsy revealed that Jerra died of myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart. Jerra had enlarged lymph nodes, which often swell as a result of an infection, according to the District Nine Medical Examiner's Office, which covers Orange and Osceola counties.

Jerra could not have gotten the infection at the park, said Sheri Blanton, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner's office. "It would have to have been in her system for days," she said.

Blanton said the examiner's office was not able to determine what kind of virus struck Jerra or where she might have gotten it. The report does not mention whether Jerra had any symptoms before she collapsed at the pool, Blanton said. Lifeguards noticed Jerra lying on a ledge near the water, and asked if she was OK.

She said she was fine, got up, and then passed out, police said.

Jerra was an honor roll student at Hines Middle School and was excited to travel with relatives to Florida, her mother Stormetta Kirby said shortly after her death.

Stormetta Kirby could not be reached for comment Tuesday. She said in August that Jerra was a healthy child who had only suffered a few colds in her life.

Jerra was the second child to die while at Walt Disney World in a matter of months. The medical examiner's office said Tuesday that the cause of death of the other child, 4-year-old Daudi Bamuwamye, was also natural.

Daudi was riding Mission: Space at EPCOT in June when he died of a cardiac arrhythmia brought on by heart disease. The child had an abnormal heart muscle, likely a congenital defect that put him at a high risk for sudden death, the medical examiner's office said.

The office says the risk of death can increase in physically or emotionally stressful situations.

Officials from Disney did not return a call for comment.

The company released a statement saying, "Our sympathies are with the families during this difficult time. In regard to the reports, we believe they speak for themselves."

The Orlando Sentinel contributed to this story.

-----------------------------------------------------

<B>about the boy:</B>

Autopsy shows boy died at Disney from heart condition

By Travis Reed
ASSOCIATED PRESS

2:14 p.m. November 15, 2005

ORLANDO, Fla. A 4-year-old boy who died after riding a rocket-ship ride at Walt Disney World was killed by a heart condition that can be aggravated by physical or emotional stress, an autopsy said Tuesday.
Daudi Bamuwamye of Sellersville, Pa., died in June after riding "Mission: Space."

The boy had a condition that caused an abnormal thickening of the heart and produced an irregular heartbeat, the autopsy revealed. People who suffer from the condition are at risk of sudden death throughout their lives, the medical examiner's office said.

"This risk could be increased under physical or emotional stressful situations," the office said in a statement. "This condition may also eventually lead to heart failure."

Disney officials issued a statement saying their sympathies were with the boy's family. "In regard to the reports, we believe they speak for themselves," it said.

The $100 million Epcot ride, one of Disney World's most popular, was closed after the death but reopened after company engineers concluded it was operating normally.

"Mission: Space" spins riders in a giant centrifuge that subjects them to twice the normal force of gravity, and it is so intense that some riders have been taken to the hospital with chest pain.

A warning sign posted last year reads: "For safety you should be in good health, and free from high blood pressure, heart, back or neck problems, motion sickness or other conditions that can be aggravated by this adventure."

The autopsy said the boy apparently had the condition since birth, but it was unclear if his parents knew about it. Their lawyer, Robert Samartin, issued a brief statement but did not return calls.

"Mr. and Mrs. Bamuwamye and their daughter, Ruthie, remain crushed by this devastating loss. They would like to thank everyone for their continued thoughts and prayers," Samartin said.

Meanwhile, a study released Tuesday at an American Heart Association conference in Dallas gave support to the notion that heart problems can be triggered or aggravated by roller coaster rides.

Researchers at the University Hospital of Mannheim in Germany put 55 healthy people on roller coaster rides and monitored their heart rates during the two-minute experience. Average heart rates rose from 89 beats per minute before the ride to 155 just afterward, with women's rates rising significantly more than men's.

These rates are high enough to trigger rhythm problems, and two participants experienced different types of them.

"We strongly recommend to people with heart disease not to ride a roller coaster," said the study leader Dr. Jurgen Kuschyk, a cardiologist at University Hospital in Mannheim, Germany.

fizz13
11-17-2005, 09:25 AM
Thankyou for posting this information, it certainly makes interesting reading. It also made me really think, what if one of my kids had a condition I knew nothing about and something like this happened? I don't know if I'd forgive myself because I'd always be wondering if I missed a symptom somewhere...you know what I mean.

Anyway, maybe a checkup before our next trip wouldn't be a bad thing ;)

Claire xx

gilld
11-18-2005, 05:28 AM
Thankyou for posting this information, it certainly makes interesting reading. It also made me really think, what if one of my kids had a condition I knew nothing about and something like this happened? I don't know if I'd forgive myself because I'd always be wondering if I missed a symptom somewhere...you know what I mean.

Anyway, maybe a checkup before our next trip wouldn't be a bad thing ;)

Claire xx
The trouble is, umless you had very invasive tests, you wouldn't know by just a general check up.

disneyholic family
11-18-2005, 05:48 AM
Thankyou for posting this information, it certainly makes interesting reading. It also made me really think, what if one of my kids had a condition I knew nothing about and something like this happened? I don't know if I'd forgive myself because I'd always be wondering if I missed a symptom somewhere...you know what I mean.

Anyway, maybe a checkup before our next trip wouldn't be a bad thing ;)

Claire xx

as gilld says, there are a million and one things that could be wrong with you that simply can never be found in advance....you can't live your life in fear that one of those things will be triggered by something or the other, since you never know whether you have it and what the trigger might be...

as for how you would feel if, god forbid, it happened to your family....
well everyone deals with grief in different ways, and you really never know how you'll be until it happens to you...
but i think that if something happened as a result of a congenital defect that i knew nothing about, i wouldn't kick myself about it...
rather i think i might console myself with the thought that at least my child had the chance to visit WDW before the fateful day...

my kids are probably older than yours (mine are 21 and 18) and we have so much serious illness of one kind or another in my family, that i tend to have a relaxed attitude about a lot of things....
i was erroneously given 3 months to live 12 years ago, so as a result for me all that matters is being together with my family.....spending time together, be it chit chatting in the living room, sitting in a cafe having coffee, or best of all, being at WDW.....
every day is a blessing because you never know when the last day will be....if it happens to come in WDW, then at least we will be at WDW....

gilld
11-18-2005, 06:24 AM
I agree, maybe it's having seen a lot of death and serious illness through my job, but I really feel if you're number's called then so be it. If you don't know about a hidden illness then there isn't anything you can do and should live life to the full.

wicket2005
11-18-2005, 07:03 AM
Thanks for taking the time to post this article Beth. I was interested to know the outcome of the investigations.