SAN DIEGO - Like most parents, sudden cardiac arrest is not something Chito Paulo thought about.
“If you take a look at your kid right now he’s healthy and you don’t think of anything else," said Paulo. "He’s healthy, he’s playing, talking, doing good in school, but deep inside you don’t know.”
His son Christopher doesn’t play sports, but has always been active. After hearing about the tragic story of Eric Paredes, Paulo knew he had to get his son checked out.
Paredes was a freshman and died unexpectedly. He was a healthy athlete but suddenly collapsed in the kitchen and died. He was later diagnosed with sudden cardiac arrest.
Since then his parents have organized 19 free heart screenings for teens, and for every 100 teens screened, at least one comes back at risk for a heart condition.
Rhina Paredes, Eric’s mom, said, "It’s something that’s common. People think it’s not going to happen to them. But we are a normal family, he was a normal kid, and it could happen to anybody.”
On Sunday, they also gave CPR lessons which could be a life saver when dealing with sudden cardiac arrest.
To prevent this from happening, Paulo says he will do whatever he can to make sure his son stays healthy.
“You can never tell until you get screened," said Paulo. "That’s all it is.”