San Diego man believes Navy tests may have caused mother's pacemaker to stop

SAN DIEGO - A man whose mother passed away believes U.S. Navy testing may have contributed to her new pacemaker shutting off.

In 2010, 10News talked to Susan Reedy, who had been interviewed by an FDA liaison after she claimed a series of strange remote control malfunctions in San Diego were tied to breakdowns with her pacemaker.

"It's like your heart is jumping sideways," Reedy said in an October 2010 interview.

She said she suffered episodes of irregular heartbeat with her pacemaker while at work in Hillcrest. She told 10News it always happened when her car remote wasn't working.

Around the same time, garage and other remotes were on the fritz in San Diego.

Previously, remote manufacturers had blamed the remote problems on Navy ships. While the Navy did not take responsibility, they did say many military bases often use the same frequency range as some consumer devices.

"That's frightening because my life depends on this," Reedy said.

A year later, Reedy passed away in her sleep. Her son, Nicholas, discovered her and said the medical examiner investigator told him, "the pacemaker was no longer working, and that was odd because she was the usually the one to shut them off."

The Boston Scientific pacemaker was brand new and top of the line. Reedy's exact cause of death remained a mystery.

"She had a congenital heart condition. A good medical checkup before her death proves that condition was not the cause," said Nicholas Reedy.

Since then, Nicholas Reedy and his siblings have hired a private investigator, who reported Reedy's death coincided with a Navy sonar test.

A group associated with the Food and Drug Administration is also taking a close look at Reedy's death.

Nicholas Reedy showed 10News a Navy online article that appeared to confirm the October test.

"We found it bizarre and odd that those dates were so right on -- on the date she passed," he said.
 
The family is now looking for legal counsel.

The big challenge, however, is the pacemaker is missing. The family said there was a body mix-up before the cremation and no pacemaker was ever recovered. They had intended to donate the expensive pacemaker, if the pacemaker was found to be working correctly.

Nicholas Reedy said that won't stop their search for answers.

"My mom wanted to get to the bottom of this. She wanted to protect people. We just want to know what happened to our mother," he said.

The results of the FDA probe haven't been released, but an FDA liaison tells 10News they want to interview the Reedy family.

The Navy didn't return 10News' calls for a comment.

In the past, they have pointed out they operate within the mandated radio communications band.   



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