Heart arrhythmia blamed for Anchorage student's death

Posted: Sunday, March 12, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An irregular heartbeat was the likely cause of death of a Dimond High School sophomore who suddenly died last week, according to the state medical examiner's office.

Ryan Keyes, 15, died Wednesday afternoon at Providence Alaska Medical Center.

More study on the boy's heart tissue was necessary, said chief medical examiner Michael Propst, but the autopsy findings were consistent with heart arrhythmia.

Ryan had been diagnosed with arrhythmia as a newborn and treated for a year with medication, but then outgrew it, said Kelly Hasvold of Sioux Falls, S.D., Ryan's aunt.

Doctors told Ryan's parents the disease stood a 10 percent chance of returning in his teenage years, Hasvold said. But no symptoms ever showed themselves and his activities were never restricted, she added.

On Wednesday, Ryan was walking off a badminton court when he collapsed, Anchorage School District officials said. The school nurse and others tried to revive Ryan until paramedics arrived, officials said.

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